Editor's Note: In order to bring you the best coverage and analysis, we're not just going to post a capsule for every prospect that signs today. Instead, French is going to watch all the film available for each signee, and he is going to write a more comprehensive film review. This is as time intensive as it is in-depth, so expect these posted periodically as spring practice approaches. --Joe
With the hiring of Scot Loeffler, Bucky Hodges would appear to be the quarterback prospect with the best chance to succeed Logan Thomas. Hodges is a prototypical Virginia Tech quarterback. He isn't a prototypical pro-style drop back passer, nor is he a system oriented spread-option QB. Instead, he an athletic quarterback who wants to do most of his damage in the pocket, but is athletic enough to extend plays and still make throws downfield.
Hodges is a physically impressive 6-5, 220-pounds. When I watched film of his play as a junior, I had immediate concerns about his arm strength.
However, he improved it significantly in the offseason. Nobody will mistake him for John Elway, but it is on par with Bryan Randall. His motion and release is very similar to Colin Kaepernick and arm strength is comparable to Chris Leak from when I watched him live his junior year of high school. He has a quick release and a natural herky-jerky motion in his shoulders that seems to disrupt secondary reads. He has the ability to quickly reset his feet when he leaves the pocket and get a strong throw.
He sometimes loses significant zip on the ball on some similar throws (perhaps because he is trying to put touch on the ball where it really isn't needed.) Although here, has enough smoke on the football to throw from the run 50 yards in the air.
Hodges seems most comfortable throwing into the middle of the field with slants and skinny posts (very similar to the routes that Logan Thomas threw well last season).
He has the arm strength to throw the 10-yard out pattern, but I get VERY nervous when he throws it.
At the next level, he'll need to improve his decision making when trying to make plays downfield outside of the pocket. His wide receivers bailed him out on 2 or 3 throws listed as "highlights."
As with all quarterbacks, he will need work on fundamentals. He tends to stare down his primary receiver (although his shoulder motion causes defenders to move towards secondary targets), which is demonstrated if you go back and watch the first video clip, he never looks at a wide open receiver in the end zone on his right side.
He has a very bad habit of carrying the ball low on his right hip when running or when taking his pass drop. By holding the ball so low, it takes longer for him to get in throwing position, and it makes him susceptible to getting the ball stripped away by a backside pass rush.
Hodges isn't a road grader like Logan Thomas, and he isn't as elusive as Tyrod Taylor, but he can move in the pocket, and has a quick first step to get going north-south when he decides to run. He has power and can be effective on the QB lead power play.
With Logan Thomas returning, and Mark Leal back, I would anticipate that Hodges will redshirt this season, but dress every game and travel. Most Hokie fans anticipate that Hodges is the guy for the future, and he certainly has the most complete pro-style skillset of any quarterback on the Hokies roster after Thomas completes his eligibility. It will be very interesting see Scot Loeffler's offensive vision is to determine how big a role Hodges will play come 2014.