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All the people who were clamoring for Virginia Tech to use Mark Leal last year are going to get a rude awakening when the Hokies take the field this fall. Not that Leal is a bad quarterback but he isn’t Logan Thomas, nor is he the type of player Tyrod Taylor, Bryan Randall, or Marcus Vick was. I would even argue that Sean Glennon had more promise since most of his struggles were due to the poor passing system designed around him by Bryan Stinespring.
Thankfully, the Hokies will have two young quarterbacks that will battle with Leal all the way up until week one. Competition makes everyone better and Tech is going to have a pretty fierce competition at quarterback over the next two years. Durkin is a very good quarterback prospect and I would even rank him above Andrew Ford in this class. He has a slightly better arm, he’s quicker, and he’s one tough SOB (just watch his film).
To me, Durkin is probably our quarterback of the future but Ford enrolling early may change that. The good news here is that each quarterback has a very high ceiling and should provide Virginia Tech with a good option behind center going forward.
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You can view Durkin's highlight film on HUDL here.
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I can see this spring going two ways, one of which could give Durkin an opportunity to play this fall while the other would almost ensure a redshirt.
1.) Mark Leal shows promise in a new pro-style attack, beating out all other QBs on roster.
2.) Leal struggles allowing Andrew Ford or Brenden Motley to enter the summer tied with him atop the depth chart, ensuring that the QB battle would continue into the fall. For leadership purposes, this probably wouldn’t be what’s best for the team.
If scenario numero dos happens, Durkin could enter this July and immediately compete with the rest of the quarterbacks the first few weeks of fall practice. However, if scenario one happens, I think Frank Beamer and Scot Loeffler will opt to redshirt Durkin while dressing Ford to offset them by a year.
As a player, Durkin is going to continue to bring some physicality to the quarterback position and I think he’ll win Tech fans over in the long run because of that. He’s a physical runner but what gets overlooked is how quick he is in the pocket. I’m not sure if his 40 time is that great, my guess is in the 4.75 range but he is extremely slippery in the pocket.
The Ohio native still needs to work on his mechanics a bit, he needs to learn how to properly progress through his reads, and I think he needs to grow a bit as a student of the game to really reach his potential. But, the physical attributes are there. Hokie fans have every right to be excited about the upcoming QB battle. It’s going to be fun to watch.
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