Virginia Takeaway: Why Grant Wells Received the QB Job, Harm Updates and Extra

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Grant Wells constructed up a spring lead in Virginia Tech’s quarterback struggle, which he did not surrender as he was formally tabbed as a Hokies starter on Wednesday. Head coach Brent Pree made the announcement after follow, naming Jason Brown as backup and praising Wales’ efficiency within the early a part of the August camp.

“(He) had an distinctive camp, very correct, nice ball placement,” Pry mentioned. “Simply performs, greater physique, it was higher to really throw the soccer on this camp. … Places in extras, he is a really coachable particular person, an incredible pupil of the sport, he is getting higher on a regular basis. I’m very impressed with the ball he bowled. It makes it robust on the defence.”

Wells, a 6-foot-2, 208-pound redshirt junior, transferred from Marshall to the offseason, the place he threw for five,623 yards and 34 touchdowns with 22 interceptions in two years as a starter. He was on the fore virtually from the beginning within the take, cementing his standing with a powerful spring through which he handed for 178 yards and two touchdowns within the spring sport.

Though South Carolina switch Brown closed the hole in the summertime, he by no means surpassed Wells within the issues the Hokeys had been searching for in a starter.

“On the finish of the day, although Jason was holding him and had an incredible summer season and an incredible camp, Grant was a bit of forward in all features of the general order of the offense, understanding the offense,” mentioned quarterback coach Brad Glenn. “Fast, intermediate and deep ball accuracy. He was manner forward of all of them. However because the coach mentioned, we have got two actually good quarterbacks, as a employees and in our locker room.

The coaches informed the contenders their determination for the job earlier this week. Wells mentioned he referred to as his complete household collectively — together with his father, a Virginia Tech graduate — to ship the information to him in a gaggle chat.

“It is wild,” mentioned Wells, whose father has been his solely private quarterback coach in life. “I solely have two days to actually give it some thought, however I am positive it would sink in in some unspecified time in the future. I actually do not know the right way to put it into phrases.”

Beginning out is nothing new for Wells, a Charleston, West Virginia, native who did so for 2 years at Marshall, incomes first-team All-Convention USA honors as a freshman in 2020. He lined 3,532 yards final 12 months as a sophistication. Amongst his targets? Forcing the ball low. His 13 interceptions had been tied for probably the most finally 12 months’s Convention USA.

Grant Wells throws 34 TDs and 22 INTs at Marshall. (Stephen Lew / USA Immediately)

“One factor that stood out from final 12 months was I knew I needed to focus within the low season,” Wells mentioned. “And simply attaining perfection. Coaches say it on a regular basis: You by no means break to make a revenue. And whether or not it is a 3-yard achieve or a 60-yard achieve, perfection actually issues.”

For Glenn, Wells is way more than offsets that he brings to the desk, together with an enormous hand and a few accuracy on these deep throws that might power Take to alter his sport planning.

“I believe his No. 1 asset is his deep ball accuracy,” mentioned Glenn. “It is actually nothing that I taught him. He got here right here with a extremely good expertise to throw a deep ball, and when you may have a man you belief, you’ll be able to take extra pictures.” Huh.

“Often it is an excellent rule of thumb, you wish to take two or three deep pictures in 1 / 4. However with that it may be much more. After which we’ve got some guys on the market, we’re into throwing it. Have religion, they usually have good chemistry and it was remodeled the summer season, so we be ok with our pictures.”

Glenn referred to as Wells probably the most correct quarterback he had coached, impressed by the location of his passes. And whereas Wells wasn’t informed to run into Marshall an excessive amount of, he has the sense of pocket that jumped out.

“They simply have a knack for it, understanding when to stroll and the right way to transfer and never bailing out too rapidly,” Glenn mentioned. “Many individuals who’ve good strolling expertise wish to bail out instantly. Properly, he does job of it hanging out within the pocket and realizing when and when to get out after which together with his ft. A bit skillful motion. These are the primary two issues that come to thoughts once I consider evaluating them to others.”

A local of Fredericksburg, Brown joined the Hokies in Wales on the identical time. He spent one season with South Carolina, the place he began as a third-team quarterback however began the ultimate 4 video games of the common season. He led Gamecock to victories in opposition to Auburn and Florida and completed with 721 passing yards, eight touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He began his school profession at FCS Faculty St. Francis (PA).

“It is at all times arduous when you need to inform somebody who labored arduous like Jason that he is the backup,” Glenn mentioned. “We did it a couple of days in the past. We referred to as Jason first and he took the information like I believed he would. He was upset however he dealt with it like a professional, as a result of he treats it like he is a professional Actually pleased with him from that viewpoint. And there is no doubt in my thoughts that he’ll assist Grant.

Whereas a third-team quarterback has not but been determined, Tahaj Bullock and Devin Farrell are nonetheless receiving equal reps.

Listed below are some extra notes and quotes from Wednesday’s train:

Malachi Thomas ran for a quarter mile as a freshman. (Vincent Carchita / USA TODAY)

1. The harm bug has hit hockey.

Pry hasn’t been very open about accidents, however she did present some updates on Wednesday:

• Large receiver Dallon Wright is out for the 12 months with an unspecified harm. On Tuesday, Wright posted a photograph of herself from the hospital simply earlier than or after surgical procedure on her Instagram.

“We want him all the perfect,” Pre mentioned. “He was a extremely good camper. I am enthusiastic about his future. He is in nice spirits.”

Wright was anticipated to be among the many gamers competing for the Snaps on the second staff after Caleb Smith, Da’Wayne Laughton and Jaden Blue. Pry talked about UNC switch Stephen Gosnell and Christian Moss as receivers, who’ve stepped up from that second group.

• Operating again, Malachi Thomas suffered an unspecified harm that left her “week-on-week”, Pry mentioned. The sophistication has been absent from the final three open treats seen by the media, courting again eight days.

“He is in conferences, he is in camp, he is very concerned, he is in remedy and rehab,” Pry mentioned. “And I stay up for the 12 months that might nonetheless be in Malachi.”

Requested if this implies Thomas may very well be prepared for the Previous Dominion opener, Pry mentioned he was unsure.

“We’ve got a couple of weeks left,” Pry mentioned. “Clearly, we hope he can, however I am going to depart that to the docs.”

• Pry mentioned linebacker Kelly Lawson is “unavailable in the mean time.” Lawson was not in follow on Wednesday.

• Blue remains to be out with an ankle harm, though he was working towards as an observer on Wednesday.

“He is getting higher, he is recovering, he is getting good remedy and I stay up for his coming again as quickly as attainable,” Pre mentioned.

2. The linebacker duo has not too long ago been shifting in the direction of the lead position of Jaden Keller.

It was solely a interval on Wednesday (and Lawson, who had completed some work of his personal will, was out), however the Mike-Will linebacker pairing was as follows:

  • Dax Hollifield/Keller
  • Keeshon Artis/Alan Tisdale
  • Will Johnson and Matt Johnson/Dean Ferguson

It is a number of practices in a row the place Keller, a redshirt freshman, has seen plenty of appearances at Will’s location subsequent to Holyfield. Pre even mentioned that Tisdale might need observed one thing on the mic.

“I am very impressed and growing within the place,” Pre mentioned. “I believe Jaden Keller and Kelly Lawson have each completed an incredible job. They’re making us really feel higher and higher on a regular basis about what we will do in that area. Alan Tisdale is clearly within the combine, we have got Tisdale We will begin to see him on the mic a bit of bit. As I discussed earlier, these guys are studying two locations to construct depth and resilience.”

3. There’s a contest occurring at one of many offensive guard spots.

Pre mentioned he’s capturing to go no less than a six- or seven-deep on the offensive line, including that he feels good a few beginning 5, noting that at one of many guard positions. There’s “good competitors”.

That is in all probability the left guard spot as Kaden Moore is without doubt one of the greatest Hokies on the suitable. Fourth-year participant Jesse Hanson has served with the primary staff within the left guard for the reason that spring, however the Hokis moved true freshman Brelean Moore (Kaden’s youthful brother) to the offensive line after the spring ball.

“He is good for a younger boy,” Pre mentioned. “He is mature, he is proficient. I believe it was good to take him to the offensive line. He is received traits that say de-tackle, however he is positioned himself. That is time to play negotiating.”

4. Tech will get extra into Previous Dominion Prep subsequent week.

The Hokies have an absolute scrimmage Saturday that will likely be extra situational than something. Pry mentioned he’ll see the place the staff is earlier than deciding whether or not the staff is full-contact or extra “tag off”.

,A part of it is going to be that residing in good situations is what we’d like,” he mentioned. “We’ll begin a bit of again on a few of the guys who’re a bit of extra confirmed and get a few of these different guys we’re speaking about, these depth guys which can be coming, get them some sufficient rep. “

Subsequent Tuesday, sport preparations will start for the staff’s September 2 opener at ODU.

,We’re actually centered on us proper now,” Pre mentioned. “Some analysts and GA have labored on some initiatives associated to Previous Dominion and actually for our opponents within the first half of the season, some offseason initiatives that they’re ending. However so far as our gamers and the principle focus. The factor is, it is about us proper now.”

(High Picture: Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics)

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