Mark Leal named 'frontrunner'

Mark Leal named 'frontrunner'
March 27, 2014, 10:00 pm
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(Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports)

Virginia Tech began spring practice on Thursday and the big question on everybody’s mind is who will replace Logan Thomas at quarterback?

Though there are numerous players competing for the position, head coach Frank Beamer declared fifth-year senior Mark Leal the leader of the pack.

“Mark Leal is the frontrunner,” said Beamer in a teleconference on Thursday.

Most fans remember Leal from last season’s Sun Bowl when he stepped into the game in relief of Thomas. Leal struggled completing only 12 of 25 passes for 130 yards. He also threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.

Still, Beamer remains confident saying he’s a “better quarterback than he showed in the bowl game.”

Though the Hokies do not yet know who will be their starter, they do have several options to choose from. In addition to Leal, Virginia Tech also has sophomore Brenden Motley, two incoming freshman in Andrew Ford and Chris Durkin, and Texas Tech junior transfer Michael Brewer.

Only Leal, Motley and Ford are taking part in spring practice.

It has been a while since the Hokies were without a clear starter at quarterback heading into the spring as Thomas has started in each of the past three seasons. Beamer was quick to recognize the importance of finding the next leader under center.

“We’ve got to be steady and solid at that position,” he said. “So that’s going to receive a lot of attention.”

Nothing is likely to be decided this spring and a competition is expected this summer when the full team meets for camp. Still, being named the frontrunner is an important first step for Leal and he is now the player to beat.

In addition to naming him the frontrunner, Beamer also said Leal suffered a mild foot sprain during winter workouts, but that he would be fine. Virginia Tech’s spring game will be on April 26 at 2 pm.