Last year, the Virginia Tech Hokies didn't name Jerod Evans the starting quarterback till less than two weeks before their season opener against Liberty. This year, it didn't take Justin Fuente and the Hokies as long to make that important decision.
Justin Fuente announced that he has named Josh Jackson the starting quarterback for the Hokies with AJ Bush and Hendon Hooker competing for the backup job. Fuente also said that Bush is currently ahead of Hooker for the backup job.
Fuente made this decision today but said it wasn't a "one practice decision", but Brad Cornelsen did say that it had been trending Jackson's way over the past 2-3 practices. Cornelsen also said that this decision "was maybe a little bit earlier than I was anticipating" but it's clear that both Cornelsen and Fuente are comfortable with this decision.
On why Jackson was chosen, Fuente said that the redshirt freshman was "the most consistent" of the three quarterbacks while Jackson credited his work ethic and studying the playbook and game daily as things that helped him win the job.
With Fuente making this decision more than a week earlier than he did last year, it's clear that Fuente has plenty of confidence in Jackson leading the team. Having Jackson in place now will also give the time for Jackson to build chemistry with the first team unit, something mentioned by both Fuente and Cornelsen.
Josh Jackson will be the first freshman quarterback to start for the Hokies since Tyrod Taylor in 2007 while becoming the first freshman to start the season opener under center since Michael Vick in 1999. Like Vick, Jackson enters this fall with a year of experience in practice after redshirting in 2016, something that should prove beneficial for him this fall.
Behind Jackson, a QB battle still remains between AJ Bush and Hendon Hooker for the backup job with Bush currently having the lead in that battle. Bush was praised last week as arguably the best athlete on the Hokies' roster by Justin Fuente with that athleticism and time spent at Nebraska and JUCO likely helping him as well.
With Hooker currently appearing to be third on the Hokies' QB depth chart, a redshirt seems likely which makes the most sense as it's hard for a true freshman to come in and be the starting QB for a major program. Hooker definitely has a bright future in Blacksburg and now has the opportunity to spend the fall watching Josh Jackson though Fuente will be ready to use him if things change.
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