Former Texas Tech quarterback Michael Brewer will head to Virginia Tech in the summer and join the competition to win the starting job. But his addition to the group does not necessarily mean he becomes the front-runner to be the starter when the season kicks off.
While the Hokies do not have an obvious heir apparent to Logan Thomas, they will have several quarterbacks competing against each other when spring practice opens later this month. Based on experience alone, senior Mark Leal has an advantage. Coach Frank Beamer has said as much. But freshmen Andrew Ford and Brenden Motley will be getting plenty of looks this spring, and freshman Chris Durkin and Brewer arrive in the summer to add more fuel to the competition.
And that is all that can be definitively said at this point. There will be a competition to win this starting job. Period. Brewer will be given a shot just like everybody else. But at this point, he remains a wild card. He will have to play catch up with the playbook when he arrives. He will have to prove he is completely over a back injury that cost him a shot to start with the Red Raiders. He will have to prove he is best capable of improving an ineffective offense.
Will he be able to answer those questions? After he returned to practice from the injury last year, he could not unseat the two freshmen who jumped ahead of him on the depth chart. Does that speak more to Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield, or more to the limitations Brewer might possess? We will find out soon enough.
Brewer, of course, is not the first quarterback to transfer into a school, nor will he be the last. We have seen an increase in quarterback transfers over the last few years, as players look for the best opportunity to advance themselves. We saw Russell Wilson leave NC State for Wisconsin in 2011 to major success. Jacob Coker left Florida State for Alabama earlier this year, Vad Lee left Georgia Tech for James Madison, and Pete Thomas also decided to transfer out of NC State -- the second transfer of his career.
We also have seen transfers come in to the ACC over the last few years. Some did not quite pan out. Phillip Sims came to UVa in 2012 from Alabama and was gone a year later; Drew Allen went from Oklahoma to Syracuse last year and lost his starting job after three games. Tom Savage had to transfer twice, but ultimately started every game for Pittsburgh last season.
The trend is not slowing down. Brewer now becomes the fourth quarterback transfer in the ACC looking to start in 2014. Of the four, Jacoby Brissett at NC State is the only lock to start. Florida transfer Tyler Murphy will try to win the starting job at Boston College, while former Memphis quarterback Ryan Williams appears to be the front-runner to start for Miami.
What will happen in the case of Virginia Tech? We probably will not have an answer until August.