The first spring of the Justin Fuente era is complete in Blacksburg with Fuente leading the Hokies through the normal 15 practices that includes the Spring Game in front of a massive crowd of 44,700. Throughout the spring, the headline has been the quarterback battle that has slowly but steadily gone from all five quarterbacks to being a showdown between Jerod Evans and Brenden Motley.
While it is almost certain that this quarterback battle will continue in the fall, Saturday’s Spring Game showed that it shouldn’t and that only one quarterback is the clear choice to be the starting QB for the Hokies.
It is time to give the starting quarterback job to Jerod Evans.
In Saturday’s Spring Game, Evans was clearly the better quarterback right now than Motley and with Evans being the guy with the bigger arm, higher ceiling, and is the better QB in the offense already; Justin Fuente should name Evans the starter now and let him build chemistry with Isaiah Ford, Cam Phillips, Bucky Hodges, and the rest of the top Virginia Tech receivers all throughout the summer leading up to the season opener against Liberty.
In the Spring Game, Evans showed a better arm along with more finesse on his throws with only a few bad throws including a couple overthrows that may be due in large part to a lack of chemistry. Evans also had a better feel for the pocket, and was able to get outside to extend the play and give himself the chance to either turn a broken play into a productive play either with his legs or arm, or throw the ball away.
Evans made many good decisions with his passes with most of his throws being on time with only a couple of exceptions. The difference in arm strength showed as Evans was able to get plenty of velocity on his throws though a couple overthrows may have been due to putting a little too much on it and some chemistry issues. Meanwhile, Motley seemed to underthrow a few receivers in cases where that shouldn’t really be an issue.
Outside of the pocket, Evans still seemed to be able to be a two-dimensional player that looks to make a play through the air but is ready to run or throw it away depending on the situation. Meanwhile, Motley became very one-dimensional as someone that didn’t seem to look much to pass the ball down the field but focused on making plays with his legs only.
For the spring, having this competition between Jerod Evans and Brenden Motley has been healthy with both guys being able to push each other to know Justin Fuente’s offense quicker along with developing their skill sets as quarterbacks. However, we reached the point where competition is no longer the best thing for the Hokies’ offense going forward.
The only advantage Motley has at this point is the fact that he has better chemistry with the receivers due to his past time in Blacksburg. Evans has emerged as the better quarterback this spring undoubtedly but one thing that seemed to be an issue for him on Saturday was his timing and chemistry with the receivers plus Evans has not had that much time to work with Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips.
With that said, the best thing to get the Hokies’ offense ready is to give the job to Evans and let him develop the chemistry and timing throughout all of fall practice that he will need early against Tennessee if the Hokies want to have a better chance of upsetting the Volunteers. Continuing this competition longer will only hurt the chemistry between the inevitable starter Evans and guys like Ford, Phillips, and Bucky Hodges.
It’s unlikely that Jerod Evans will be named the starting quarterback now but after this Saturday’s Spring Game, naming Evans the starter is the best move for the Hokies.