Now that we’re a day removed from the spring game, let’s take a look at what happened and what fans can take away from the rainy scrimmage.
Quarterback could be anyone in the fall
After a shaky open practice for Hendon Hooker, it felt to me like it was down to A.J. Bush and Josh Jackson. That all changed on Saturday, as Hooker had the best day out of all the quarterbacks. He threw (unofficially) for 113 yards on 10/11 passing with a touchdown as well. His one incompletion was an interception coming off a miscommunication between Hooker and wideout Phil Patterson.
The quarterback competition is going to come down to who can be the most consistent. All three choices are going to be fine in the offensive scheme. Each has their own strengths, but I think the Hokies will be fine no matter who takes the field against West Virginia.
Caleb Farley and Dalton Keene
We were told that these two early enrollees had a good spring, but it was on full display Saturday afternoon. Farley played exclusively on offense making several impressive catches in traffic. He also showed off his speed early on the first drive getting interfered with on a sure touchdown route by Brandon Facyson. The coaching staff still hasn’t figured out where he will end up playing yet, but it wouldn’t make much sense if he isn’t at least a part-time receiver.
Dalton Keene was the recipient of the touchdown pass from Hooker, and also caught three more passes for a total of 38 yards (again, unofficially). He worked out of the H-back position for the majority of the game — something I’ve talked about being a possibility earlier this spring. I fully expect him to be a major part of the Hokies offense this season.
The defense looked relatively solid on Saturday. With several starters out for injuries, it was an opportunity for backups to shine. The main standouts for the afternoon though were Tavante Beckett and Adonis Alexander. Beckett had several tackles, but a couple tackles stood out just based on how hard of a hit they were. He looks to be all over the field and has a bright future ahead of him in the Bud Foster defense.
Alexander continued his interception ways picking off Hooker. He also had a couple interceptions during the open practice on Tuesday. Alexander looks to be much more aggressive this season compared to last, which is a good sign for the Hokies but a bad sign for opponents. Couple Alexander with Facyson while also throwing in Mook Reynolds into the mix and the secondary gets very scary.
Spring practice is over, so now it’s time to speculate. There are plenty of questions left for fans. For starters, it’s obviously going to be about the starter at quarterback come September 3rd. I truly think it could be any of the top contenders, so it’s just going to be a waiting game in that regards.
There will be lots of questions as well about the defense. With so many injuries, it’s tough to tell where exactly they are right now at the end of the spring. However, with the injuries happening to returning players and not incoming players, some of those doubts can be alleviated. Add in the arrival of Devon Hunter and this defense should be just as solid, if not better, in the fall.