Well, 2016 is done. What will the future hold for Virginia Tech football in 2016? I can’t say for certain, but there are three big questions heading into 2017. There are tons of other questions that need to be answered, but these are my big three.
1. Who will replace Jerod Evans, Bucky Hodges, and Isaiah Ford?
There are a ton of possibilities, especially at QB. The surprise loss of Evans kind of forced Fuente’s hand. If you think back to last spring, news out of camp suggested Joshua Jackson seriously pushed Evans for the starting nod. Some of that might have been motivation for Evans, but if true, Jackson is the presumed QB1 heading into spring camp. Hendon Hooker is another to keep your eye on, and if you believe the hype, the Hokies might have found their next Tyrod Taylor. I don’t think you can replace Hodges with anyone currently in the pipeline. I literally have typed “matchup nightmare” too many times to count. I’m not sold on his use last season, but I figure Hodges to have good run on Sundays. Ford is the biggest loss IMO. He wasn’t the biggest, wasn’t the fastest, but the guy got open. I’m not sure he will pan out in the N.F.L. (size being the biggest question mark) but there isn’t any other receiver I would want on Saturdays. I hope Ford ends up in a good situation, and he was always a class act.
2. Will Justin Fuente experience a sophomore slump?
The 2016 Hokies destroyed the expectations for the season. 10 wins, and an appearance in the A.C.C. title game was a complete shocker to most. The bad news for Virginia Tech fans is pretty simple.
“The 2017 edition of Virginia Tech football might be a better team, but finish with a worse record.”
The schedule is harder. Notre Dame will be better. The Hokies host Clemson, and Miami is looking for a big year in 2017. Pitt is back with Narduzzi, and I never sleep on North Carolina. I think the overall talent will be better in Blacksburg, but that con schedule, coupled with an opener against W.V.U, look for the Hokies to finish somewhere around 7-8 wins. Before you flood my email and comments section, do yourself a favor and really look at the schedule.
3. Will Devon Hunter grab a shirt, or play immediately at Lane Stadium?
I’m not sure Hunter plays in 2017, but then again I can’t remember a more high profile recruit over the past few years. There have been higher rated players, but Hunter was an important get for Fuente and staff. It showed the state who was in charge, but also started rebuilding the 757 pipeline. If Hunter sees immediate action, it could mean two things: He’s that good, or we promised him some spotlight. Either way, Hunter has the goods, and will blossom under Bud Foster. I’m interested to hear what you have to say on this. Please leave comments on our FB, or log in and share with us here!