Hokies Football Preview: Breaking Down Michael Brewer and the Quarterbacks

We are five weeks away from the Hokies kicking off the season in Blacksburg against the defending national champion and preseason number 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. Entering 2015, Hokie fans have a lot of confidence that this is the year that the Hokies can return to national prominence, especially with 16 starters plus Brandon Facyson and Luther Maddy returning.

Today, we launch our Virginia Tech football preview with a look at Michael Brewer and the quarterbacks.

Pre-Fall QB Depth Chart

  1. Michael Brewer
  2. Brenden Motley
  3. Dwayne Lawson
  4. Chris Durkin
  5. Jack Click

Entering the fall, we project that Dwayne Lawson is not only ahead of walk-on Jack Click, but also ahead of Chris Durkin who did not have a very good spring. As shown by the Hokies’ ACC media guide depth chart, the two quarterbacks are Michael Brewer and Brenden Motley.

Michael Brewer had a very strong spring, and seems very likely to be the starting quarterback for the Hokies when they take the field against the Buckeyes. Brewer showed a much-better understanding of an offensive playbook that seemed expanded for Brewer now that he has been with the Hokies for a full year.

The best sign with Brewer is that his work ethic has been extremely high with some in the program saying that Brewer is working harder than even fullback Sam Rogers, one of the hardest-working Virginia Tech has ever had. Brewer wants to prove this fall that he has what it takes to lead the Hokies back to a place of prominence in college football.

The biggest concern for Brewer is can he be more consistent with his decision-making and avoid making stupid mistakes late in games, which cost the Hokies a couple times early last season against Georgia Tech. Brewer also improved on the arc on his throws, which could be critical in taking advantage of the vertical advantage the Hokies have with Bucky Hodges.

Dwayne Lawson starts behind Brenden Motley on the depth chart, because he has been in Blacksburg for weeks, but no one should be surprised if Lawson is the backup for Brewer this fall. Lawson is extremely talented as a passer and a runner, and has already received plenty of comparisons to Tyrod Taylor and a couple even to Michael Vick.

Lawson has a big arm with solid accuracy, especially on his deep passes while also proving to be a fairly smart scrambler that knows how to make plays with his legs. Lawson also has the speed to get away from opposing pass rushers and make plays while scrambling whether that be through the air or on the ground.

However, Lawson is still transitioning to being at Virginia Tech and learning Scot Loeffler’s offense, which will take time. Lawson has a lot of talent and is clearly the quarterback of the future, but that time could come sooner depending on how quickly he grasps the offense and how well Brewer does in fall practice and the first few games of the 2015 season.

Brenden Motley returns as the experienced backup quarterback that will likely be used out of the “Wild Turkey” formation for some plays. Motley is a good athlete and very mobile quarterback with a solid arm that can make many good throws.

Entering the spring, Motley seemed ready to battle Brewer for the starting job, but the senior pulled away from Motley this spring. Motley does not seem to be in a position to battle for the starting quarterback unless Brewer gets injured during fall practice.

At one point, Motley seemed like a future starting quarterback for the Hokies, but that door may be shutting very quickly due to the immense talent and potential with Dwayne Lawson. Motley will have a big fight this fall, but he definitely is ready to put in the effort.

Chris Durkin has always had a cannon for an arm, but the redshirt freshman quarterback is buried on the depth chart as he continues to prove to be an inaccurate quarterback. If Durkin can improve his accuracy, he may be able to make a push to climb the depth chart. Jack Click rounds out the Hokies’ QB depth chart as a hard worker that may be able to push Durkin some this fall.

Projected QB Depth Chart vs. OSU

  1. Michael Brewer
  2. Dwayne Lawson
  3. Brenden Motley
  4. Chris Durkin
  5. Jack Click

Dwayne Lawson is the most talented quarterback since at least Tyrod Taylor and will earn the backup job over Brenden Motley this fall. However, Michael Brewer’s experience, improved talent, and quality work ethic will earn him the job on a Hokies’ offense that will be significantly better this fall than in the past few seasons.

Tomorrow, we will continue our positional breakdown with the running backs and fullbacks. In the meantime, who do you think will be the starting quarterback against Ohio State? Will it be Michael Brewer as most expect or will Dwayne Lawson come in and steal the job?


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