Justin Fuente and the Virginia Tech coaching staff have made it all but clear that incumbent starting quarterback Josh Jackson essentially would have to fall on his face to lose the job despite challenges from Kansas transfer Ryan Willis and redshirt freshman Hendon Hooker.
On Saturday at the Virginia Tech spring game, Jackson thew a red-zone interception, while Willis helped guide a pair of second-half touchdown drives. And though it appears that Jackson remains the intended starter, Fuente did utilize his postgame press conference to try to motivate his second-year starter.
“I think there’s another level of detail that he can reach in his preparation,” Fuente said with Jackson sitting at the podium next to him, according to David Teel of The Daily Press.
Jackson grinned while hearing the light jab from his coach, then offered up his own interpretation of what those comments might mean.
“Probably just working and focus(ing) on the little things. I think I’ve got the big picture of the offense, but probably just getting more into detail on that stuff would probably be what he’s talking about,” he said. “Maybe being in the office more often and asking them questions, stuff like that.”
Willis has a big arm (as evidenced by touchdown passes of 83 and 33 yards on Saturday) and is a better athlete than the coaching staff anticipated, but it appears that he and the rest of Virginia Tech’s talented quarterbacks room is mostly insurance for Jackson. But if Jackson doesn’t answer Fuente’s challenge to become more detail-oriented, perhaps somebody can close the gap and turn this into a legitimate quarterback competition.