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With 6 days left until Virginia Tech takes the field against Appalachian State, we turn our attention to number 6 on roster, Mr. Mark Leal. Leal entered this fall with his eyes set on being the backup quarterback this season and managed to win that battle in a decisive manner. Despite having a few more years in the system, JuJu Clayton just doesn’t have the raw physical skills that Leal possesses, which made this an easy decision for the coaching staff. From what I’ve seen so far, Leal is an impressive looking quarterback that should develop into a solid backup this year. Hopefully, he doesn’t have to start a game this fall but if he does, I have enough confidence in Leal to go out and get the job done.
Weight: 199 lbs
High School: Atlantic High School
How Did He Get Here
The Hokies have established a pipeline at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Florida. Leal is one of six Atlantic High grads to play at Virginia Tech in the last six years. Even with a decent offer sheet, Leal decided to commit to the Hokies on May 7th 2009.
I’m sure the coaching staff is hoping that Logan Thomas can make it through the season unscathed by injury. However, if he can’t at least the Hokies have a workable backup in Leal. After watching him in the two scrimmages, Leal has a little bit of Bryan Randall in him. He’s a good passer, smart with the football, and knows how and when to scramble. He’s not blazing fast but he has good enough straight ahead speed to run by defensive ends and some linebackers.
What concerns me the most is Leal’s lack of experience. If he is needed at some point this year, hopefully it comes later in the season after maybe 100 snaps in garbage time through the first four weeks. Getting him acclimated to the college game is a must in the month of September.
Beating out JuJu Clayton for the backup job this spring.
Likely having to listen to a bunch of announcers screw up the pronunciation of his last name.
Completely made up fact
Leal, the good Samaritan that he is, was so worried about Hurricane Irene that he evacuated the enter city of Delray Beach, Florida up to live with him at his apartment. Needless to say, there have been some noise complaints.
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