For Virginia Tech quarterbacks coach Mike O’Cain, it’s not too common to welcome in a 6’6’’, 240 lb. specimen into your meeting room.
When Logan Thomas joined the Tech ship in the fall of 2009, neither O’Cain nor anyone else had any idea where the highly touted freshman would line up during his career.
Most experts projected him as a tight end or wide receiver at the college level.
Some services ranked him as the best tight end recruit in the country.
Not bad for a guy that never played tight end in his life.
With one redshirt season under his belt, it’s full steam ahead for Thomas as a quarterback.
With Tyrod Taylor entering his senior season and no comfortable heir apparent to his throne as the Hokies’ quarterback, the coaching staff seems to be throwing all their eggs in Thomas’ basket.
Those who knew Thomas in high school admitted the only reason he played under center was because there simply was no other player who could get Thomas the ball.
Turning Thomas into a capable ACC quarterback is a daunting task, one that falls squarely on the shoulders of O’Cain and offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring.
The ongoing debate this spring in Blacksburg concerns whether Thomas or redshirt sophomore Ju-Ju Clayton will back up Taylor in 2010.
Clayton has never once looked like he has the tools to ever become a reliable starter for the Hokies.
At least with Thomas, you have the physical frame to build around.
It’s a risk that the coaches better be willing to take.
With no other contingency plan in place for 2011, there’s little doubt the keys to the offense will be handed to Thomas, whether the coaches admit it or not.
Stinespring hasn’t exactly hid his hand very well.
With a player of Thomas’ caliber ready to play anywhere on the field, he has not practiced anywhere but quarterback all spring.
These 15 practices are the most valuable any team can have when it comes to grooming young talent and finding out what players can make an impact in some capacity.
If Stinespring had any faith in Clayton, he would have allowed Thomas to get work in as an H-back and tight end.
This means Thomas better get the lion’s share of reps during Saturday’s spring game.
He has struggled in the two previous scrimmages this spring, which he has attributed to the pressure of playing in a more glorified environment.
He’s not going to get any real time this coming year to erase those fears (hopefully), so this is probably his last chance to be thrown into the fire before he is The Man.
Two people that should really feel the heat are Stinespring and O’Cain.
Stinespring will essentially waste two years of Thomas’ eligibility in hopes he can handle the quarterbacking duties after this season.
O’Cain is the man responsible for getting him ready to do that.
If the Logan Thomas Quarterback Project flops, it could be the final straw for Stinespring, who (whether deservedly so or not) has been unpopular at times throughout the Tech fan base.
This means Thomas better be named the backup to Taylor ASAP, and the coaches better bust their humps between now and next spring to make sure they don’t ruin a player who has NFL written all over him.