BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech’s decision-makers are starting to view the quarterback battle as a two-person race between Jason Brown and Grant Wells.
The Hokies opened spring camp with six quarterbacks getting equal reps, but started narrowing the reps down last week after moving Connor Blumrick to tight end. The next step came on Saturday when Brown and Wells got the bulk of the work during a 90-play scrimmage.
“I’ve been pleased with both of those guys,” Tech offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen said. “I think they both bring a unique skillset to the table. They have both done things extremely well. They are battle-tested. You can see the clock in their head in the pocket and things like that. They know what it feels like to play at this level.”
Tech quarterbacks coach Brad Glenn echoed those thoughts and referred to their experience as a “security blanket.”
Brown was a two-year starter at St. Francis before starting multiple games last year for South Carolina. Wells was a two-year starter at Marshall. Their fellow competitors — 2021 signee Tahj Bullock and early enrollee Devin Farrell — are both going through their first spring camp.
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“Jason’s been in big games in the SEC there with South Carolina, in big moments and big environments,” Glenn said. “And you can’t replicate game experience, and I think that has shown early on in spring ball with us. And then the same thing with Grant. Grant’s had tons of game reps, game throws.”
Their previous experience learning a collegiate offense has come in handy as well.
“It’s kind of like flying a plane,” Glenn said. “You’ve got all these gadgets and instruments and chaos going on around you. But you’ve got to know where to look and what gauges and switches to flip, so to speak.”
Glenn described the installation process as a complicated one with the quarterbacks expected to learn the playbook alongside new terminology for coverages and protections while memorizing all the sideline signals as well.
“We’re throwing everything at them,” Glenn said. “We’ve had eight or nine installs. So we’re not babying them at all.”
According to Glenn, the most successful quarterbacks are the ones who dedicate themselves to learning all those intricacies when they step off the practice field.
“We kind of call it the other 22,” Glenn said. “…Every team always kind of spends two hours on the field practicing, so everybody’s going to put that time into it. Now what are you doing with the other 22? Are you preparing yourself and are you going back and looking at extra film on your own?”
On the field, Wells has shown the best “deep ball accuracy” in camp with arm strength to match. Glenn also gave Wells strong marks for the way he works through his progressions and reads.
The scouting report he gave on Brown was focused on the quarterback’s ability to get the most out of his teammates.
“Jason’s just resourceful in my eyes,” Glenn said. “He gets the most out of every play, every situation. He grinds out completions probably as well as everybody I’ve ever been around.”
There’s still no time frame for naming a starter, but naming one befor the end of spring camp is possible.
“I would love to be able to name a guy at the end of spring,” Tech coach Brent Pry said. “I think from a leadership standpoint and shaping the offensive unit, the culture there, I think it would be beneficial to us, but if we are not ready to do it, we won’t. We have a pretty good competition.”