August 14, 2016
Tech football program holds Media Day
Fuente gave his latest analysis of the team after a week and a half of practice
Quotes from Tech football program's Media Day

Coach Justin Fuente quotes

Coach Bud Foster quotes

Quotes from quarterbacks Brenden Motley and Jerod Evans

By Jimmy Robertson

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente and more than two dozen football players met with media members Sunday morning at the program’s annual Media Day event held at the indoor practice facility.

The media event came on the heels of the Hokies having completed 10 practices in preparation for the season opener on Sept. 3 against Liberty. The event allowed media members from across the state to ask Fuente questions related to the team and he opened by giving his analysis.

“We’ve had a good start to camp,” Fuente said. “We have a tremendous amount of work to do. Our old guys are working to bring the young guys along, but every day is a challenge for us. We’re continuing to try and get better. The kids deserved a day off today and I like the way the schedule has fallen. We’re now finished with summer school, which is a unique part of our schedule. We’re in summer school for a decent portion of camp, but we’re done with that and now we’ve got a week left of just playing football.”

Fuente said that he and his staff are still in the evaluation process, but that they continue to learn what certain players can and can’t do. He also said that nothing had changed in regards to the quarterback position – in other words, he has not named a starter, which comes as no surprise.

The Hokies participated in an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday and Fuente said he got about what he expected out of it.

“I would say some good and some not so good,” he said. “I think that is pretty on par with everyone out there. I understand the importance of quarterback. I understand the curiosity behind it. That spot is very similar to a lot of spots on our team right now.

“I feel like I have a pretty good handle on our team in terms of their character. We have a selfless team that wants to work hard and do their best. There is a certain work level needed in order to give yourself a chance to win ball games. There are no guarantees, but they have been willing to work that hard. This is important to them.”

Here are a few more notes from Tech’s media event:

• One of the more intriguing questions directed toward Fuente centered on the continuous discussion within the ACC on whether to play eight or nine conference games. League schools appear to be split on the issue. Some schools would rather play eight because Notre Dame’s presence on ACC schedules each year and others would rather remain at eight because of rivalry games that are non-conference games (Florida State vs. Florida). Yet some feel nine would be better as a way to help with ticket sales.

Fuente said he understood the issues, but didn’t offer a strong opinion for either side of the issue.

“I have thought about it, quite honestly,” he said. “There are a lot of pluses and minuses on both sides. I’m good with whatever we decide.”

• Fuente said the search continues for depth at the receiver spots behind Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips. Aside from the quarterback battle, these are probably the most-scrutinized spots on the team. Fuente singled out Jaylen Bradshaw, C.J. Carroll, Henri Murphy and two freshmen – Divine Deablo and Eric Kumah.

“We are making some progress and I am encouraged by it,” Fuente said. “Within those guys and some of the younger guys, I am hopeful that they will keep making progress and will produce some quality depth. We are certainly better off than we were two weeks ago or two months ago. We still have a lot of work to do.”

• Defensive coordinator Bud Foster answered a few questions at the media event. He feels good about his starting unit, but he, like many others on the staff, wishes that he had more depth.

“I’m encouraged by the young group of kids that we have,” he said. “We made them grow up sooner rather than later, so to speak. You need depth from an injury standpoint. The more players that you can have perform is the key. You can have depth, but the depth needs to be able to perform and execute. From that standpoint, that’s where we need to get a little bit more development in a couple of spots.”

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