August 25, 2016
Evans tabbed as the starting quarterback for the Liberty game
Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente hasn't ruled out playing multiple quarterbacks if he feels the need
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VIDEO: Coach Fuente with Jon Laaser

VIDEO: Jerod Evans with Jon Laaser

QUOTES: Coach Fuente

QUOTES: Jerod Evans

By Jimmy Robertson

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente answered a question Thursday that he had been receiving throughout August when he named Jerod Evans as the starting quarterback for the Hokies’ season-opening game against Liberty on Sept. 3.

Evans, a redshirt junior from Dallas, Texas, got the nod over redshirt senior Brenden Motley and true freshman Josh Jackson. The trio had been battling for the starting position throughout August, with all receiving a relatively even number of repetitions in practices and scrimmages.

“I’m pleased with all of them,” Fuente said. “They’ve all handled it well. I’m confident that they’ll continue to develop and get better. This season will be a long journey and we’ll see how it goes. We’ll continue to get those other guys ready to play.

“I walked into their meeting room and they looked me dead in the eye and acted like complete professionals. They understand the importance of team and they all three had good work today.”

Evans is believed to be the first junior-college transfer to start at quarterback for the Hokies in the modern era (post-1950). He enrolled at Tech last January after committing to Fuente and his staff out of Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, which is southeast of Dallas. He led his conference in passing yards per game (395.5) and touchdowns (38) while finishing in the top four in completions, attempts, completion percentage and total yards.

Evans arrived at Tech as the top junior-college quarterback in the nation by 247Sports and Scout ranked him the No. 10 overall junior-college prospect nationally.

“For now, he’s had a few more predicted outcomes in terms of executing,” Fuente said. “He’s a good athlete and that plays into it as well. I’d just say, for now, that he’s had a few more of those predicted outcomes.”

Fuente hinted that Motley and/or Jackson could see action depending on the flow of the game. Motley started six games a year ago when Michael Brewer went down with an injury and the Hokies went 3-3 in those games. For the 2015 season, Motley threw for 1,155 yards and 11 touchdowns, with seven interceptions.

Jackson, who graduated a semester early from Saline High School in Michigan and enrolled at Tech for the spring semester, threw for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior. He also rushed for 470 yards and eight touchdowns.

“All cards are on the table,” Fuente said in regards to playing multiple quarterbacks. “I don’t know if that will happen, and if they do [play], to what extent. But none of that has been ruled out.”

In other news:

• Tailback Marshawn Williams will miss the first two games because of what Fuente termed a “hurdle” that he needed to overcome. Fuente said that the hurdle predated his arrival here at Tech and that it wasn’t a behavioral issue.

Also, safety Jahque Alleyne will miss the first four games because of a similar situation. Alleyne had been backing up Chuck Clark at free safety and his absence probably means that either Der’Woun Greene or Deon Newsome will be the back up behind Clark.

• Fuente also addressed what many found surprising at Tuesday’s open session of practice when offensive lineman Wyatt Teller was working with the second team. Teller started 12 of 13 games last season and has started 18 games in his career, but Colt Pettit, a redshirt sophomore who has played in one collegiate game, was working with the first team.

“I think he’s [Pettit] a hard-nosed, tough guy and he seems to be intelligent,” Fuente said. “He knows what we’re trying to accomplish and it’s important to him.”

Fuente, when pressed on the subject, said, “Colt was playing better. Things can always change.”

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