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Virginia Tech football: 3 days til kickoff as we look back at Bryan Randall

Randall is one of the more underrated players in the history of Virginia Tech football.

Bryan Randall scrambles with the ball
Former Virginia Tech QB Bryan Randall

Today is August 28, 2019, which means we are only just three days away from the Virginia Tech Hokies opening the college football season at Boston College. In the previous two days of our countdown we have profiled two former ACC Player’s of the Year in Tyrod Taylor and David Wilson. We continue that trend today as we profile No. 3, Bryan Randall.

Randall arrived in 2001 as a key member of one of the best recruiting classes in Virginia Tech history. That’s the class that also featured the consensus top player in the nation in running back Kevin Jones, DeAngelo Hall, Will Montgomery, James Anderson, Jeff King, Justin Hamilton and other notable former Hokies. The four-star passer from Bruton High in Williamsburg had the unenviable task of coming in right after Michael Vick.

In a perfect world, Randall never would have seen the field in 2001. However, with Grant Noel under center replacing Vick, the Hokies wanted to replace some of the athleticism at the quarterback position they lost with Vick. That season wasn’t ideal for either Noel or Randall. Noel started every game while Randall played in eight games. For the season, Randall completed just 12 of 34 passes for 114 yards, while rushing for 104 yards.

Noel would return in 2002, but the Hokies were committed to handing the reins over to Randall. Randall was much better, although the coaches still wanted to give Noel opportunities, too. On the season, Randall played in every game, making 12 starts. He completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,134 yards, 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 507 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2003, Noel was gone, however, there would be a new quarterback in town Randall would be forced to share time with in Marcus Vick. Michael’s younger brother was a redshirt freshman in 2003 and the coaches were determined to give him every opportunity.

Randall would start every game for the Hokies that season, while Vick saw action in 11 games. Randall completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,996 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also finished second on the team in rushing behind Kevin Jones with 404 yards and five scores. It was during that season where Randall finished his time with the football team and played for the basketball team. Randall was quite the basketball prospect coming out of high school, too.

Vick would be suspended in 2004, meaning for the first time in his career, Randall would not have to share snaps with anyone. It was also Virginia Techs’ first season in the ACC. The Hokies lost the season opener to USC at FedEx Field in a very competitive game. After that loss, the Hokies would win two in a row before losing a one-point heartbreaker to N.C. State at home. After that, Tech went on an eight-game winning streak and capturing the ACC title in its very first year in the conference. Randall was the driving force behind that squad.

In 2004, Randall started every game and completed 56 percent of his passes for 2,264 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Randall finished third on the team with 511 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He would be named to the All-ACC first-team while also walking with the ACC Player of the Year award.

Randall had an outstanding career for the Hokies. He was never quite treated the way he should have as he never should have been forced to split time with Noel in 2002 or Vick in 2003. He was clearly the better option in each year.

Randall’s epic performance in the Carrier Dome in 2002, where he passed for 502 yards and five touchdowns, was arguably the best individual performance in Virginia Tech history. He holds the single-season record for completion percentage and ranks No. 3 all-time with 6,508 and second with 48 touchdowns. He held both marks until Tyrod Taylor and Logan Thomas broke those records a few years later. He would later be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

After his time at Virginia Tech, Randall would sign with the Atlanta Falcons where he spent the 2005 season on the practice squad. He spent the 2006 season on Tampa Bay’s practice squad and spent some time with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007 before being released. Randall would then go on to play in the CFL, IFL, UFL, AFL and CAFL over the next 11 years. He is also a project planner and scheduler for Newport News Shipbuilding.

Randall is one of the best quarterbacks in Virginia Tech history and had he not had to share time for two years, more people would give him the credit he deserves in that regard.