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August 23, 2014

Loeffler Pondering Options

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As early as this afternoon, Virginia Tech could name its starting quarterback for this fall.

For offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, while that's been a main topic during fall camp, it hasn't been the only one. But after yesterday's closed scrimmage, the last one of camp, Loeffler and the Hokies are very close to addressing most of the topics that have taken most of the conversation over the past month.

At the forefront has been the quarterback position. Loeffler last week narrowed the competition to senior Mark Leal and junior transfer Michael Brewer. Both have done what Loeffler has asked and gotten a good handle of both the offense and what it takes to lead a team, primary factors in Loeffler's decision.

"We were able to, throughout these last couple of weeks and evaluating past performances, evaluating academics, there's a lot of combinations in this decision," Loeffler said. "Obviously, performance is number one, but at the end of the day, it's who we think can go out and lead our team and who gives us the best chance to win. Regardless of who we name, it doesn't matter which direction we go, they're both gonna be needed."

In the middle of the competition, one question is being answered more and more. Freshman receiver Isaiah Ford has shown plenty of flashes of his ability to be an elite playmaker and weapon on offense. He's listed as Virginia Tech's No. 1 receiver and in yesterday's scrimmage, had four catches for 94 yards and three touchdowns.

"He's a guy that as soon as he stepped on campus, you heard from the DBs that he had a chance to be really good," Loeffler said. "Obviously, I never got to see him, but as soon as I walked out in the first couple of training camp, I noticed him."

But while that question is being answered, Loeffler has others. Who will be the starting five offensive linemen? How will he sort through a possible six dressed running backs? And of course, who will be the starting quarterback.

The one thing Loeffler feels like he knows for certain is that he'll at least have more options this season than he did last season.

"You know the scenario that we were in last year, particularly early," he said. "Whenever you look at the first four ball games, you were still trying to find out which guy could make a play and I thought the receiving corps, as the year went on, improved. But the major difference is I think we have some guys out there at the tight end position, the receiver position that can make a play. You see us making plays in practice and that wasn't necessarily the case last year at this time."

Below is Loeffler's full interview with the media yesterday:

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