Chris Durkin

Back-up Hokies QB turning pro in something other than football


Virginia Tech back-up quarterback Mark Leal is turning pro.

Well, sort of.

The reserve quarterback for the Hokies has decided to leave the program to pursue what the school is calling a professional opportunity. The school says Leal has already earned a degree.

What the professional opportunity is is unknown, but it is said to conflict with playing football. This is why Leal has made the decision to leave the program now, instead of sticking though the rest of the 2014 season.

The loss of Leal is an obvious dent in the depth at quarterback for Virginia Tech. Michael Brewer remains the starter for the Hokies, and Virginia Tech still has a few younger players on the roster if needed. Former four-star quarterback Class of 2013 recruit Bucky Hodges has converted to tight end. Virginia Tech added two quarterbacks in the Class of 2014, Chris Durkin and Andrew Ford. Both are three-star recruits out of high school according to Rivals.

Virginia Tech QB question will linger

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Saturday’s spring scrimmage at Virginia Tech did nothing to solve any questions about the starting quarterback vacancy left by Logan Thomas. On a day that saw the defense dominate, quarterbacks Mark Leal and Brenden Motley each scored a touchdown but failed to take a lead in the competition under center.

Leal completed 10 of 18 pass attempts for 90 yards and was intercepted once. Motley had similar results, completing six of 11 attempts for 72 yards and an interception. Motley also ran for a touchdown inside the red zone, but it was called back due to an offensive holding. This leaves head coach Frank Beamer and his staff with something to ponder over the summer and leading up to the start of the 2014 season. For now, no decisions are being made.

“We’ll talk [as a staff],” Beamer said. “Both of our new quarterbacks will be here the first session of summer school, and they’ll have a chance to throw to our receivers quite a bit.”

There will also be some other options to consider as well. Virginia Tech will welcome Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer and freshman Chris Durkin, a three-star pro-style recruit out of Ohio according to Rivals. It appears Motley and Leal are the top two candidates though.

“I think we’ve got to take a direction pretty quickly in the fall,” Beamer said. “Whoever it is going to be needs to get a lot of reps in preseason practice and whoever is second needs to get a lot of reps. So we’ll decide on those two, and those are the guys who will get the reps.”