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For now, Motley on top of QB mountain for Hokies

BLACKSBURG

The coaches are months away from deciding whom will be the starting quarterback, but Virginia Tech shook up the depth chart Tuesday, more than halfway through spring practices.

Redshirt sophomore Brenden Motley was moved to the first team after a strong scrimmage on Saturday, moving past the spring's initial No. 1, fifth-year senior Mark Leal, who had to miss last weekend's workout in Lane Stadium with a knee injury.

The move wasn't made because of that injury, however.

"The depth chart at our position, especially in this situation, is a daily deal," offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said. "And I expect that thing to change quite a bit, to be quite honest with you.

"Motley... earned the opportunity to be with the ones today. Will that change? I don't know. The way that I look at it, just like I've said 100 times, they're going to compete all spring. We're going to get two guys May 28 and they're going to compete. At the end of the day, we'll find our guy right before we kick off."

The two guys Loeffler referenced are Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer and true freshman Chris Durkin, both of whom will arrive on campus next month.

They'll join Motley, Leal (who returned to practice Tuesday, although Loeffler said his knee remains an issue) and true freshman Andrew Ford in a quarterback competition that will have plenty of participants but no clear frontrunner.

Loeffler expects the competition to last a while.

"We'll quickly have a set number 1 through 3, because you can't rep five guys," he said. "I mean, it's impossible to rep five guys. So we'll get it down to the top two, top three or whatever we're at.

"It's not the first time that we've had to pick a starting quarterback in the fall. So we'll get the great evaluation of the next couple months and make a decision."

So far, Motley has played the best. Last year's third-string quarterback, who still hasn't taken a snap in a college game, he went 12-for-20 for 163 yards and a touchdown Saturday, throwing a nice deep ball on a long completion to Demitri Knowles and good mobility in the pocket for a 6-foot-4, 219-pounder.

He lamented a couple of missed big plays, however, including an overthrown pass to tight end Bucky Hodges (Salem High).

"Coach is always saying when big plays present themselves, make those plays," Motley said. "And I missed a couple of those."

Still light on reps in his career and often overlooked - he ran a Wing T offense at nearby Christiansburg High and was labeled a project entering college - Motley took Tuesday's news as a boost to his confidence.

"I felt like I was more known in the locker room now," he said.

Still, he knows how fleeting this promotion can be if he doesn't continue to perform.

"Coach always says nothing is set in stone," Motley said. "So I've got to come out here and compete every day, because I can lose it tomorrow."

Note  Virginia Tech's game at Ohio State on Sept. 6 will start at 8 p.m. and be televised by ESPN, the network announced Tuesday. It will be the Hokies' second game of the season and first on the road. They open at home Aug. 30 against William & Mary.

Posted to: College Football Sports Va. Tech Football Virginia

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