With just a week to go until Tech's season opener against William & Mary, the Hokies finally named Michael Brewer the team's starting quarterback.The Texas Tech transfer edged out Mark Leal for the position.
The main concern with both players is primarily size. Leal is 6'1 while Brewer comes in a 6-feet even according to the media guide. It's a drastic shift for a team that has built its offense around the 6'6" Logan Thomas the last few seasons.
"Both guys are going to be needed in the season," offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said in a press release.
"You always need a good, solid starter and a good backup. Both of them need to be ready to go. Brenden Motley will be third on the depth chart and will continue to develop."
Brewer played in 13 games over two seasons at Texas Tech but injuries caused him to miss time and eventually be passed over on the depth chart, leading to his eventual transfer. Height isn't the concern here, it's bulk. Brewer weighs in at an even 200 pounds. That's probably why you hear the coaches saying both guys will be needed.
Another concern is arm strength. Gone is the powerful arm of Thomas, replaced by what Tech hopes is a considerable improvement in accuracy with Michael Brewer. His arm is probably slightly better than Leal's, but there will be a considerable drop-off from Thomas's cannon.
I would expect fewer long downfield plays and more intermediate passing routes. That's what the Texas Tech offense is based on and it not only improves accuracy numbers but allows fast receivers to make a play after the catch. The Red Raiders use the shotgun formation almost exclusively which was a concern coming in, but now that he's the starter it's safe to say Brewer made the adjustment to playing mostly under center just fine.
The biggest plus for Brewer over Leal is his mobility. Leal is your classic dropback passer while Brewer has sneaky speed that will surprise people when a play breaks down. He won't be breaking off long touchdown runs like Tyrod Taylor, but he'll be able to improvise under pressure.
That's likely the X-factor if all things were otherwise equal between Leal and Brewer. Frank Beamer knows an athletic quarterback can mask a lot of deficiencies on offense and with an improved offensive line, better wide receivers and increased tailback depth, the hope is that he won't have to.
The Hokies open the season Aug. 30 against William & Mary at 4 p.m. Stay right here with Gobbler Country for your football news.