The Virginia Tech Hokies are in the final few practices of the first spring under Justin Fuente with the quarterback battle being the headline throughout the past few weeks. At the beginning of the spring, the Hokies technically had a five-person battle that was really a three-person battle for the starting quarterback job.
As the spring has gone along, the quarterback battle has changed and shrunk more with Justin Fuente saying at his most recent press conference that most of the first team reps are going to Jerod Evans and Brenden Motley. With that said, here’s our latest odds less than 10 days away from the 2016 Spring Game.
Dwayne Lawson: <1%
When Dwayne Lawson arrived in Blacksburg, many believed that he would be the starting quarterback in 2016. Instead, Lawson is headed for another season on the bench behind Jerod Evans and Brenden Motley as the number three quarterback. It would not be surprising to see the Hokies try to redshirt Lawson this year, but dress him for every game in case injuries become an issue once again in 2016 at the quarterback spot.
Brenden Motley: 20%
Brenden Motley is still in the hunt as the most-experienced quarterback at the FBS level, but is still the underdog in what is now a two-man battle. One thing that likely has helped Motley this spring is the fact that he has live-game experience making throws to Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges, and Cam Phillips.
Justin Fuente’s up-tempo also can take advantage of someone with mobility like Motley, but Motley has not show great accuracy or arm strength in the past. Jerod Evans also is a better athlete given the demands of the quarterback spot due to the size and arm that Evans brings to the table compared to Motley who does not have the same amount of muscle or arm strength.
Motley may be the more proven and polished quarterback in some ways, but Fuente will be ready to go with who he thinks will be best for the program going forward. With Justin Fuente’s past track record on decisions like this, Motley’s chances of getting the starting quarterback aren’t that bad but they aren’t that good either.
Jerod Evans: 80%
All indications point to both Jerod Evans and Brenden Motley having good springs so far and with that being the case, that makes Evans an even bigger favorite to be the starter this fall. Evans is the quarterback with the higher ceiling than Motley along with being a more polished player in some ways despite his experience coming at the JUCO level.
Evans has the big arm, solid accuracy, and mobility that Justin Fuente definitely wants in a quarterback along with the size and strength to take the tough hits that he will face. Evans also was dominant at the JUCO level and after spending some time at Air Force before going to the JUCO-level, Evans likely didn’t have too many problems with the transition academically-speaking.
However, the one thing thing that could prevent Evans from getting the job is the fact that Motley does have FBS-level experience and while Evans was a great JUCO QB, not all JUCO QBs end up working out.
Right now, Jerod Evans seems to be the heavy favorite to be the first starting quarterback of the Justin Fuente era and if he can close out the spring strongly, he could even win the job now instead of having to continue battling for it in fall practice.