On Wednesday, Virginia Tech announced that the team competition had been narrowed, with Grant Wells and Jason Brown receiving “the most representatives”.
Tahj Bullock and Devin Farrell are behind the two, but Connor Blumrick has switched to the narrow room.
“As we talked about from the beginning, it was difficult to get six representatives,” full-back Brad Glenn said on Wednesday. “We had to be creative with it early on, which I think we did quite well. And as we have continued, we have reduced it to maybe four boys in the scrimmage the other day getting reps. … But obviously this is still an open competition. We are in nine exercises. We still have to look at two monsters, so we are still evaluating things every day. “
Of the four, Wells and Brown are two experienced QBs, who Glenn said distinguished them. Brown started in St. Louis. Francis (Pa.) Before moving to South Carolina; Wells was a two-year starter at Marshall. Glenn said “you can not repeat a play experience,” which is something both of them have.
This is important when it comes to learning a new system. The entire coaching staff is setting up a new playbook with different terms on both sides of the ball and experience gives Wells and Brown a foothold. Glenn said he was looking for the boys to process information quickly and he seemed to be learning the basics of flying a plane.
“You have all these gadgets and instruments and clutter going on around you,” Glenn said. “But you have to know where to look and what gauges and switches to turn, so to speak, and I agree with Grant and Jason, with the experience we’re talking about, [they’re] is doing a good job with it now. “
Glenn also recorded “the 22,” in connection with the fullback’s career. There are 24 hours a day and QBs spend about two hours practicing. How they spend their time in the other 22 hours is crucial, especially when trying to learn a new system. Glenn said he was “throwing everything at them” throughout the spring practice.
“We’ve had eight or nine setups,” Glenn said. “So we are not loving them at all. And just be very impressed with the group as a whole how they have been able to take it all in, because this is all new to them. … So just the whole group from top to bottom to be able to process and handle all of this like they have done, I have been very impressed with all of them. But especially Grant and Jason. “
Glenn praised Wells’ arm strength and precision, along with his vision and how fast he processes information. He called Brown “resourceful,” someone who gets the most out of every play and situation.
“He probably completes audits as well as anyone I’ve been around,” Glenn said of Brown.
In terms of naming a starter, Glenn, striker Tyler Bowen and head coach Brent Pry are on the same page: If Virginia Tech has a starter, the staff will announce it.
“I think if you have a starter, of course you have to name it,” said Glenn. “And if everyone feels good with one boy, then your team, your locker room, needs to see it. So they can start rallying behind a boy and building their confidence and belief, “Hi, this is our boy.” Because it’s so important. “
Behind the two main boys are two inexperienced new students. Bullock wore a red shirt in 2021 but did see some representatives in the Military Bowl, but Farrell is a true freshman who signed up early.
Glenn said the concern for the young players was that they had too much information to process. He can say that they were “a little depressing” during the installation and Glenn does not want his defenders to think about things. However, he has seen many things that have made him happy.
“There have been flashes in there for both of them, that you can think, ‘Hey, they really got it,'” Glenn said. “But again, just the teenagers. This is Tahj’s first spring ball. So you expect him to be a little behind compared to Grant Wells or Jason Brown. And Devin, early enrolled, should still be in high school by now. So these guys are exactly where I expected them to be. “
And then there’s Blumrick, who now finds himself practicing with the wide receivers and tight ends. All the staff and players have been impressed with his ability, with Pry calling him one of the “22 best Virginia Tech players” in March. Glenn described him as a “special talent.”
“I think when you have a guy like that, I look at it through the eyes of the defender,” said Pry. “I see a guy like Connor who is fast, tall and athletic. He has shown us this week that he has ball skills. When he’s in the game, is he going to line up as a full-back? Is he going to line up at the fixed edge? Is he going to line up bent over with a wide device? It is a problem of interaction for line prices and possibly for safety. “
As Wells said of Blumrick, “I think he can reach 80 yards and the next game will be a full-back and a slanted pitch, so I think it will be a very unique asset for our attack.”
Keli Lawson moved to Sam Linebacker
Pry previously mentioned that JR Walker and Keonta Jenkins had switched to Sam linebacker. On Wednesday, he pointed out that Keli Lawson’s widescreen has also taken advantage.
“I knew about Keli from high school,” said Pry. “I knew his head coach at Sherando. Coach Hall always thought Keli was a better defender. When I watched a high school movie, I felt like he was a better defender. I thought he was just doing well in the free throw, talking about the opportunity to get faster on the field on the defensive side of the ball and what his strengths were. Day by day, he gets better at it. “
Pry said the player in that position would have to have the qualities of a security and linebacker, at the same time as the staff needs to be replaced at a minimum.
Chamarri Conner stands out in the back room on defense
Pry said senior defender Chamarri Conner was more than anyone else playing at the pace he needed the defense to play. Behind him, the group still needs to build depth and consistency.
“He runs past people to get to the ball click after click after click,” Pry said of Conner. “I’m excited about what he’s doing.”
Running Back competition
Pry said there were no significant changes to the back room last week. He described it as a good match for many candidates and the Hokies are looking for many defenders to work with.
“I think Keshawn King, the explosives he makes,” Pry said of the defenders who have stood out. “It simply came to my notice then. I think Malachi [Thomas] looks like the best guy ever. He took the attack quickly and played. I like what I’ve seen from Chance [Black], he had a very good game or two on Saturday. I think it’s a good group right now.