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Hokies Will Name Starting Quarterback Friday

Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer is still battling Hokie senior Mark Leal for the job in an open competition. The Virginia Tech coaches will make their final decision after Friday's scrimmage.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sp

The Hokies still don't have their starters squared away at a number of positions, but the most high-profile question mark is at quarterback.

Transfer Michael Brewer has been the presumptive favorite of many to win the job since he arrived in Blacksburg. The redshirt junior missed spring practice for the Hokies while finishing up his undergraduate degree in personal financial planning at Texas Tech.

Brewer saw action in 13 games over two seasons for the Red Raiders completing 41 of 58 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns. Unfortunately, injuries limited his opportunities and he was eventually passed on the depth chart leading to his decision to transfer.

Senior Mark Leal has even less experience after he backed up Logan Thomas for three seasons. Leal saw his first significant action against UCLA in the Sun Bowl when he completed 12 of 25 passes for 130 yards and two interceptions in Tech's 42-12 loss.

The two have been listed as co-number one's on the quarterback depth chart for most of fall camp with true freshman Andrew Ford at third string. Christiansburg, Va. native Brendon Motley was listed atop the depth chart for most of spring practice, but he's missed most of fall camp with a back injury.

Ford has impressed, but there's no way he can overtake the two upperclassmen despite improving considerably since spring ball. Fellow freshman Chris Durkin has seen time in the wildcat formation during practice which leads one to wonder if there might be a role for him in certain situations.

Motley and tight end Bucky Hodges have also worked some in the wildcat. Hodges was a high school quarterback.

Like Motley, Durkin missed quite a bit of fall practice with an injury. Personally, I find it hard to imagine not redshirting Durkin just so he can play three or four snaps per game, but stranger things have happened.

Reading the Internet chatter, folks seem to be quite concerned that the Hokies have yet to decide on their starting quarterback.

It certainly seems late in preseason to be making this decision, but there are plenty of programs that still haven't made the call including Nick Saban's Alabama squad.

While the overall talent levels are different, Frank Beamer and Nick Saban are in similar spots. Both coach's have talented transfers from big-time programs battling with senior quarterbacks that know the system but haven't been able to separate themselves in the competition.

It's a delicate situation even for veteran coach's like Beamer and Saban. You have to be sure the transfer knows the offense and has earned the confidence and respect of his teammates. You also don't want to alienate the senior potential backup who may well be called upon during the season when an injury occurs.

Beamer and Saban likely both know who their starting QBs are, they just aren't telling the public. I like the idea of a spirited competition. It lets the entire team know that no one is given anything, not even the quarterback. You have to earn your spot, and that's perfect for these two hall-of-fame coach's and their old school mentalities.

You'll have your answer regarding Tech's QB Friday.