For the first time this spring, we got to meet Virginia Tech’s quarterbacks. Well, sort of. Redshirt freshman Joshua Jackson and transfer A.J. Bush met with the media this week for the first time allowing fans to get a glimpse of two players they know very little about.
Jackson, in his second year with the program, looks like the leader in the clubhouse to start at quarterback in the season opener. That’s not official and head coach Justin Fuente is certainly not tipping his hand, per Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“I don’t ever set a time frame to make a decision, Fuente said. “There’s only one deadline, and that’s by the time the first huddle trots out there in the first game.”
For Jackson, who enrolled at Virginia Tech in January 2016, is going through his second spring camp with the Hokies. That’s certainly benefitting him in this quarterback race as his time on the bench last fall allowed him to learn Fuente’s offense and understand what the coach looks for and needs from his quarterback. He said as much when he met with the media.
I got to watch Jerod play and that helped me out learning and being able to see college football live and do his reads on the sidelines, being able to take it all in was really a good learning experience for me. And now into the spring, I’ve tried to get even better with my techniques and learning coverages.
Remember, the 6’1”, 211-pound Jackson almost beat out Evans for the job last summer. Fuente decided to go with experience and picked Evans. That was the right decision and Hokie fans hope Fuente nails this decision, too.
Jackson is certainly not going to give Fuente what Evans did in terms of running the football. You can’t expect the much-smaller Jackson to be the team’s featured rusher for much of the year. If Tech can deliver a running game, Jackson could surprise a lot of people as a freshman if he wins the job.
Bush, at 6’4”, 219 pounds, certainly fits the profile of more recent Fuente quarterbacks like Evans and Paxton Lynch. That won’t matter if he doesn’t trust him to operate his offense at a high level. True freshman Herndon Hooker is probably the future at the position in Blacksburg, but coaches would love to redshirt him this fall while he acclimates to the college game.
The spring is important for Jackson. The Hokies are also breaking in some new wide receivers. It gives Jackson some time to build a rapport with his pass-catchers while also working on his timing and control of the offense.
Will Jackson win the job? Or can Bush surprise some and win the job? Next week’s spring game will tell us a lot about Virginia Tech’s quarterback position.