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April 3, 2013

Comparison: VT's QB Classes

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For the first time since 2010, Virginia Tech signed more than one quarterback on Feb. 6 signing day.

Both Bucky Hodges and Carlis Parker join the Hokies this season and both have a chance to be Virginia Tech's quarterback of the future. They each have contrasting styles as Parker is more of a dual-threat while Hodges has the stronger arm.

But while each highly-rated quarterback has drawn plenty of attention this year, how do they compare with Hokies signees of the past?

Two quarterbacks currently with Virginia Tech weren't even listed as quarterbacks coming out of high school, which puts a bit of a twist in comparisons. But while senior-to-be Logan Thomas and redshirt freshman Brenden Motley might not have gotten that listing from Rivals.com, they played primarily under center in their high school careers.

Thomas, a four-star from Brookville (Va.), was listed as the top tight end in the country in the 2009 class. But with his cannon of an arm, he might have been destined to play quarterback at the college level well before he decided on Virginia Tech. As the Hokies' starter for the past two seasons, Thomas will again lead the way this fall. Both Parker and Hodges could both be redshirted this season, giving them plenty of time to learn the new system of new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and make next year a big battle to see which one will succeed Thomas.

Motley was listed as an athlete out of Christiansburg in last year's class, though like Thomas, he played predominantly at quarterback.

The quarterback position has had varied success for the Hokies. Jim Druckenmiller had a successful run in the mid 1990s before Michael Vick really put Virginia Tech on the map in 1999 when as a redshirt freshman he reached the national championship game in the Sugar Bowl.

Following Vick was his younger brother, Marcus Vick, who remains the highest-rated signee in the Rivals.com era. The younger Vick was the No. 8 player in the 2002 class and ranked the second-best dual-threat quarterback in the country, behind Vince Young, who signed at Texas.


VT'S HIGHEST RATED QUARTERBACK SIGNEES


Bucky Hodges, Salem (Va.) 2013:
No. 171 in the Rivals100, No. 10 pro-style QB, No. 10 in Virginia


Logan Thomas, Brookville (Va.), 2009: No. 71 in Rivals100, No. 1 tight end, No. 1 in Virginia


Tyrod Taylor Hampton (Va.), 2007:
No. 27 in Rivals100, No. 1 dual-threat QB, No. 1 in Virginia


Ike Whitaker, Northwest (MD), 2005: No. 3 dual-threat QB, No. 5 in Maryland


Sean Glennon, Westfield (Va.), 2004: No. 10 pro-style QB, No. 3 in Virginia


Marcus Vick, Hampton (Va.), 2002:
No. 8 in Rivals100, No. 2 dual-threat QB, No. 1 in Virginia


Sean Glennon, rated four-stars in the 2004 class had varied success during his career at Virginia Tech. Ike Whitaker was a celebrated four-star quarterback in the 2005 class, but played mostly receiver in three seasons with the Hokies and battled alcoholism, which has been well-documented.

Tyrod Taylor had many thinking he could be the next Michael Vick, another celebrated quarterback who could scramble. Taylor was a five-star recruit and the No. 27 player in the 2007 Rivals100 and led the Hokies to three Orange Bowl trips in four years.

Parker, from Statesville, NC has brought back the "next Michael Vick" tag this year. That came from coach Frank Beamer himself on signing day. Parker, a left-hander like Vick can move and also has a strong arm, though he was listed as the No. 73 athlete by Rivals because of his all-around ability. He played wide receiver in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas all-star game in December, but enrolled early at Virginia Tech and is getting a jump on Hodges in spring practice.

Rivals.com mid-atlantic analyst Adam Friedman saw Parker look good at receiver at the Shrine Bowl, a big reason why Parker was listed as an athlete.

"Parker says he wants to be a quarterback but when he lined up as a wide receiver or defensive back, his natural abilities were easy to see," Friedman said. "Parker is a great athlete and, with some work on his technique and footwork, he could become a really good cornerback."

Salem's (Va.) Hodges though has the highest ranking of the two, at No. 171 in the Rivals100. He's also widely talked about as having the stronger arm of the two. But how far behind will he be by arriving in Blacksburg this fall?

"We all know the success of this class will ultimately come down to Bucky Hodges," Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said. "He could be an absolute home run with his size and mobility and if he develops as a passer a bit more, he could dominate.

It's far too early to tell if either will take the Hokies to where Michael Vick did, or even get back to where Taylor took them. But both Hodges and Parker have said repeatedly, they're ready for the competition.


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