Spring football is finally here. The Hokies last laced 'em up in Shreveport. A ton of things have changed since then. First year coach Justin Fuente gets his first look at his players. Bud Foster will try and address the defensive challenges the Hokies saw last year. The fan base will try and get out of the shadow of a legend. The players will adjust to a new culture. With this in mind, here are the 3 biggest questions we want answered this spring.
#1 Who will play quarterback, and what does he bring to the table?
Dwayne Lawson is your incumbent here. Lawson as a true freshman saw limited snaps. He is the enigma in all of the quarterback discussions. Is he ready to take the helm? A lot of folks in Hokie Nation were uncomfortable with "burning his shirt" for really no measurable production last year. Lawson is a kid who came in with a ton of hype, and didn't get an honest shot at showing his stuff. The other part of the quarterback discussion is Jerod Evans. The top rated JUCO QB is loaded with potential. His eye-busting numbers in JUCO last year makes me think he is the real deal, but the competition is elevated at the D1 level. I think it's foolish to think that Evans would sign with Tech if he doesn't expect to see significant playing time this season.
#2 Can Bud Foster rekindle the magic that made his defenses so special?
When you start cherry picking stats to support an argument, it might be a sign. After watching every snap of every game last season, I can tell you one thing: The Hokies defense isn't what it used to be. Injuries played a huge role, especially in the defensive backfield, but every team has them. The problem the Hokies faced was a complete lack of depth. Kendall Fuller went down with an injury, and we had no answers. Now that Fuente is virtually certain to put some points up, it's up to a Foster led defense to hold serve. Linebackers have been a huge concern over the past several seasons, and it will be interesting to see who takes the leadership role.
#3 Can Justin Fuente Win?
"We got our guy." That is what one well placed Hokie told us when asked about Coach Fuente. Fuente was the belle of the ball after beating Ole Miss last year and kind of stumbled toward the finish line. The stakes are higher here in Blacksburg, and it will be interesting to see how Fuente responds to the big stage. With the huge Battle At Bristol slated for week 2, there isn't much of a grace period for Fuente. A challenging schedule is the least of Fuente's problems. Finding a QB and resurrecting a dormant rushing attack should be priority number one. Making Virginia Tech fans embrace him as the next coach might be a bigger challenge.