Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer became the latest head coach to pick a starter under center, announcing Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer as his quarterback on Saturday afternoon.
"I'm extremely honored to be labeled the starter at a program like Virginia Tech," Brewer said in a statement. "I'm very thankful for my teammates and the coaching staff for entrusting me and giving me this opportunity. I'm looking forward to this season."
The redshirt junior beat out redshirt senior Mark Leal for the job. The starter coming out of the spring, sophomore Brenden Motley, has been sidelined by a back injury and will end up as the No. 3 quarterback. In Motley's absence, it was essentially a two-man race.
"Both guys are going to be needed in the season," said offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler. "You always need a good, solid starter and a good backup. Both of them need to be ready to go. Brenden Motley will be third on the depth chart and will continue to develop."
From a physical perspective, Brewer (6-foot, 200 pounds) could not be more different from previous starter Logan Thomas, who was listed at 6-6, 254 as a senior. The transfer does bring some mobility to the position but likely won the job because of his accuracy and strong arm. He played in 13 games over two seasons in Lubbock, throwing for 440 yards and five touchdowns. He fractured a vertebrae in his back before last season and attempted just 10 passes while playing behind then-true freshmen Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb.
Leal never seemed to stand out as the primary signal-caller and was widely expected to be the backup this year. He relieved Thomas during the Hokies' bowl game last season, but threw two interceptions and reportedly never developed any consistency in the passing game during fall camp.
Virginia Tech opens against William & Mary on Aug. 30 and has a big game at Ohio State in Week 2.