Why Virginia Tech Pursuing a 2nd 2023 Quarterback Is Not Surprising

Why Virginia Tech Pursuing a 2nd 2023 Quarterback Is Not Surprising
Photo Credit: Jake Roth
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Jul 14, 2022

One of Virginia Tech's first commitments of Brent Pry's first full cycle recruiting class came at a premium position from three-star QB Dylan Wittke out of Georgia powerhouse Buford HS. At the time, it seemed like the Hokies would simply be content to take one quarterback in the 2023 class.

However, there has been some surprising news for many who follow recruiting recently as the Hokies are pursuing taking a second quarterback in the 2023 class.

Two names in particular have come up the most as those potential targets for Tech: four-star QB Chris Parson and three-star QB Jaxon Smolik.

Parson was a long-time commit to Florida State, but recently decommitted from the Seminoles after they landed a commitment from fellow four-star QB Brock Glenn. Tech also chose to "re-offer" him in a more clear statement of their interest in him.

Meanwhile, three-star QB and Tulane commit Jaxon Smolik hasn't received a Virginia Tech offer yet (or at least that isn't public knowledge if so), but the Hokies are clearly interested with offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen and QBs coach Brad Glenn both talking with Smolik last week plus plans to talk with Brent Pry this week. This comes as Smolik has received a surge of interest recently as we reported last week.

As stated above, seeing Tech pursue a second QB in the 2023 class this cycle is likely a surprise to many. Some may wonder if that is a sign that they aren't so sure about Dylan Wittke, but that would be wild speculation not rooted in anything especially given how Wittke has been Tech's biggest HS commit recruiter this cycle taking an unofficial visit on an official visit two weeks after his own official visit to do some more recruiting.

So why is Virginia Tech looking at pursuing a second QB? Because the depth chart is thinned out to the point where they need to build out their depth chart.

Currently, Virginia Tech only has four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster with only three returning next season as Jason Brown only has one year of eligibility. Wittke would give Tech four scholarship QBs and though it's unlikely in any worse cast injury scenario that all four would be used, four is usually below the average nationally with plenty of programs having more than that.

Additionally, we are now in the transfer portal era where players have more ease of access than ever before to find new opportunities. Quarterbacks have particularly been comfortable transferring if they fall behind on the depth chart to a younger player or don't fit into a system. Tech's QB room has largely been revamped but any returning QBs recruited by the previous staff for a different offense could also prove to not be a good fit and therefore look for a better one which would thin VT's depth chart further.

Tech also has shown signs of discontent with just having four quarterbacks even this past offseason given that they showed interest in Utah transfer Peter Costelli (who has since transferred to Troy) even after they had already signed Grant Wells and Jason Brown.

Similar to the Costelli situation, Tech is pursuing a second 2023 quarterback selectively with their only public offer or re-offer going to four-star Chris Parson so far. While an offer to Jaxon Smolik definitely seems likely, one hasn't arrived publicly at least at this point.

Parson and Smolik also took part in the Elite 11 Finals with Smolik earning Elite 11 honors and Parson winning one of the QB skills challenges during the event.

So yeah, Virginia Tech isn't just looking for a second arm, they're looking for the right fit and another high-end talent like Wittke who can fit in well in boosting Tech's depth while having lots of upside and providing even more healthy competition beyond what any new QB like Wittke can bring to the table.

Even if Tech doesn't land a high school quarterback, it's not crazy to think that Tech would pursue a talented JUCO QB or transfer who could boost the depth chart.

Though many may be surprised to see the Hokies pursuing a second 2023 QB, there are plenty of reasons why it really isn't a surprise after all.