2003 Preview: Quarterbacks

Bryan Randall

One of the hottest topics of discussion this college football offseason has been the battle between Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick for the starting quarterback position at Virginia Tech. Well, its been a hot topic of discussion everywhere but Blacksburg. Beamer is solidly behind incumbent Bryan Randall, who has improved tremendously since last season. Let's take a look at each candidate...

Bryan Randall, Jr. (6-0 222)
Randall took over the starting duties after the 2nd game of 2002 for an injured Grant Noel. The coaches were slow in turning him loose, but by the end of the season Randall had earned enough confidence from the coaches that he was allowed to throw the ball 20 or more times a game. He finished 2nd in the Big East and 10th in the nation in passing efficiency. He reads defenses very well and his offensive teammates have confidence in him. In short, he is a very solid college quarterback. However he does have some weaknesses that must be pointed out. He deep ball is very inconsistent. Some are beautifully thrown, see this past year's Syracuse game for proof. Others wobble like a bird caught in a hurricane. Randall also turned the ball over too much in 2002. However if spring football can be used as an indicator, he seems to have that problem under control. Bryan Randall will certainly be the starter going into the season, but will his toughness and experience be enough to hold off for an entire season the raw ability of this man...

Marcus Vick, r-Fr. (6-0 203)
Marcus Vick has everything you could want in a quarterback. Need a deep ball? He can throw it a mile. Need a pass squeezed between two defenders 25 yards downfield? No problem, just another day at the office. Need a quarterback who can escape from the pocket? His last name is Vick. Marcus Vick has the raw ability to start this fall for Virginia Tech. He's smart enough too. After seeing him this spring and recalling his brother Mike's first spring game in 1999, Marcus is heads and shoulders ahead of Mike at this point in his career. All he needs is a little game experience, which he will get this year. Don't think he's perfect...you'll still see the fumbled snap or occasional stupid pass that you would expect from a freshman. But he's about as perfect as a freshman can get. Many Hokie fans have expected Vick to be everything his brother was since the day he arrived in Blacksburg. That may not seem fair, but that's exactly what you may see before its all said and done!

So, who's going to win the starting quarterback job. Almost certainly, Bryan Randall will be the starting quarterback against UCF on August 31. After that, who knows? Experience vs. raw talent, which will prevail. I know one thing, its a credit to Bryan Randall that he has been able to hold off someone as talented Vick this past spring. It was obvious that Randall was the better quarterback, but not by much. Whatever happens, Virginia Tech is going to have one outstanding quarterback behind center this fall.

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