2016 Hokies Football Roundtable Preview: Who Will Be VT’s Starting QB in 2016?

Over the next four days, our four-member panel will go through four of the biggest questions ahead of the 2016 football season for the Hokies. With that said, we’ll open with this: who will be the Hokies’ starting quarterback?

Joining us for this preview is Mike McDaniel of Inside The ACC, Sean Labar of The Virginian-Pilot, and Dan Caro of the @TreadmillHorse Twitter account. Let’s get to it.

Tim Thomas (Follow the site @techlunchpaild)

From what I’ve heard, the quarterback race is still legitimately close but Evans seems likely to be the starter against Liberty especially as being one of Justin Fuente’s guys. While we have heard that Josh Jackson is the best passing quarterback on the roster, that’s not the only reason that will determine who the starting quarterback will be and Evans seems to be the most dangerous threat out of the bunch at this point.

However, no one should doubt the possibility of Jackson being the starting QB this year given Justin Fuente’s willingness to go with young guys. Jackson also seems likely to end up being the guy in 2017 but for now, Evans seems to be the guy for 2016. Brenden Motley is still in the hunt but Motley just doesn’t seem to have the same upside or talent level as the other two guys. While Evans seems likely to be the guy, no one should be surprised if any of these 3 QBs win the job.

Sean Labar (@SeanLabar)

At this point, it’s hard for me to visualize anyone other than Jerod Evans under center come kickoff against Liberty in 11 days. I know there has been a lot of chatter about Josh Jackson — and its warranted. But why take a gamble on a freshman when there are two veteran options in the fold? Evans’ has always been Fuente’s guy. He hosted him for a recruiting visit, and made sure he transferred to Virginia Tech. While we still don’t know a ton about Evans, he appears to have all of the intangibles. I’m not saying he will be the guy all year, but I certainly believe he will be the starter.

Dan Caro (@TreadmillHorse)

Right now, the safe money is still on Jerod Evans. He didn’t transfer to VT as a touted JUCO quarterback to sit on the bench. The QB race is still close. I’d say there’s a 55% chance it’s Jerod Evans, 45% chance it’s Josh Jackson. I haven’t been hearing much about Brendan Motley recently, it seems like he has played his way into the third spot. There is a real chance that the Hokies start the season with true freshman Josh Jackson behind center. If Evans does win the QB competition, expect Josh Jackson to redshirt.

Mike McDaniel (@MikeMcDanielACC)

The quarterback situation at Virginia Tech has been one of the most fascinating position battles to watch across the ACC since this summer. It wasn’t long ago that Coach Fuente stated publicly that he thought the starting quarterback race would end up coming down to redshirt senior Brenden Motley, as well as junior college transfer Jerod Evans. Since then however, a surprise candidate in true freshman Josh Jackson has entered the fold, making it a three-way battle for the position with just under two weeks away from the opener.

This means one of two things for Virginia Tech: Either the veterans have not performed to par, or Josh Jackson has exceeded expectations and is ready to take the reigns as a starting quarterback in the ACC. If Jackson is ultimately chosen as the starter, fans better hope it’s because Jackson jumped the two former candidates in a tight race where everyone was playing well. Otherwise, the Hokies may be in trouble all year long, especially if Jackson struggles out of the gate.

Ultimately though, I believe that Jerod Evans will be named the starter. He transferred into the school during the Fuente regime for a reason, and before it’s all said and done, he will have his say one way or another. I’d expect Brenden Motley to play though, whether it’s through the struggles of Evans or some set plays within a given game. I just have a hard time seeing the Hokies going into the Battle at Bristol with a true freshman quarterback, but it all remains to be seen at this point.
Thanks to Mike McDaniel, Dan Caro, and Sean Labar joining us. Check out the home of our 2016 Hokies’ football preview right here.
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