QB Nick Johns Waits on a Hokies Offer

Usually each weekday morning Leesburg, Virginia resident Nick Johns travels about an hour-and-fifteen minutes to Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. "It's a tough commute, but you get used to it."

Yesterday However, the 2015 quarterback took a trip to Blacksburg, his first since visiting for the Maryland game last season. Nick told me he has scholarship offers from Maryland, Virginia, and N.C. State, but Virginia Tech has not offered as of yet.

"I'm still waiting [on an offer from Tech], I was kind of expecting one today.

"Coach Loeffler came to watch me throw about a month ago, Coach Loeffler and Coach Moorehead. He said he was impressed. He wanted to get me down to school, and he wanted to pick my brain apart and see what I knew, see what I need to work on, and see how I had been coached up these past 3 years. I thought I impressed him a lot, our relationship is going to continue, and hopefully I pick one up soon."

Nick plans to commit to a school by late May. "I want to get affiliated with a program and commit somewhere where I can start recruiting other players from around my area. The quarterback is always the centerpiece of the recruiting class, and I think he really has to start recruiting other players to his school, especially offensive linemen and wide receivers. I need to know the system. I just think it would be better for me to commit a little early."

Gonzaga runs a similar offense to Stanford, because of the connection with alumnus and senior Cardinal signal caller Kevin Hogan. "I probably throw like 15 times, 20 times a game. I'd like to throw more, but whatever helps our team win."

Coach Moorehead is Nick's primary recruiter. When I asked him about their relationship he told me, "He's been recruiting me for about two years now. He's been in and out of our school a few times to see us, and I think our relationship is really strong right now. It's been a long time, so we know each other really well. He's a great coach and a great guy."

He believes his biggest strength on the field is to extend plays from inside and outside the pocket.

"I think I'm a pretty undervalued runner. I can run the ball when needed. I run a 4.7, faster than most quarterbacks, and my size [6-3, 220] allows me to take on defenders when running the ball. That and being able to sit in the pocket and take hits while delivering the ball."

Nick's working to improve his throwing motion. Specifically he's trying to stop locking his knee out when throwing which prevents him from transferring his power, and is capping his maximum velocity.

"I'm throwing with all my arm, rather than hips. I'm working on that right now, and I think I'm getting better every day. My ball velocity is increasing every day, everything is looking a lot sharper."

Two factors will most determine where Nick decides to commit: coaching stability and an opportunity for early playing time.

"I really just want stability within the coaching staff. Virginia Tech, Coach Beamer's been there forever, it's great. I think Coach Loeffler and the whole coaching staff's going to be there for a while.

"I want to play early, like redshirt freshman, redshirt sophomore. Those are probably the two biggest things."

He said of Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, "I like the colonial look, small town, big college. I like how it has a lot of people and the fan base is great. I went to the Maryland game, that wasn't the biggest game, but it was still packed."

Nick's highlights are available on his Hudl.

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Comments

Sounds like a smart, loyal kid.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Most underrated player in the whole 2015 class.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

Could be FTW, but what I REALLY like is it sounds like he WANTS to be a Hokie.

Fortune Favors the Bold

Here's something I never ever thought I would say....

Do we really have the room to offer him? I mean, right now we have 4 QBs in the fold, 3 of which are 4* caliber that came in last year. At least one will be redshirted this year, and another could possibly get a greyshirt on top of that. I really like the fact that kids WANT us to give them offers, but he's a 3* pro style QB who very likely probably wouldn't see the field at Tech unless it was garbage time. With us in on a couple 5* guys this year and likely to fall back to the 4* QBs again if we miss out, is it really prudent of us to toss him an offer?

As I said, I don't like saying that, I really like it when kids are loyal to us and really WANT to come here... But big picture, do we really have a place for him, especially if one of his big needs is early playing time?

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

Agreed, sorta. I'd focus on a few 5* kids. If Leal wins the job, we need a new starter in a year and a 5* kid will see that as a great opportunity. It's great to have so many bodies, but there are concerns with each of those kids. A David Cornwell level kid may walk in and start right away, especially if that kid is available in the spring.

But I don't see the need or opportunity to sign another 4 or 3 star kid. Volume we don't need, quality we very well might.

I think this is something Loeffler is considering very, very carefully. The absolute maximum number of QBs we'll take in this class is 2, and really we could get away with only signing one. There's no question Loeffler wants a high-caliber, 5 star guy. It'll be interesting to see if he extends an offer.

My take: we can afford to whiff on this class, so why not hold out and go for the walk-off grand slam? i'm not saying this kid can't be that walk-off, i'm just saying that i'm totally fine with Loeffler not offering a kid if he's thinking he only needs one, and wants to go for gold.

I don't have to take this abuse from you, I've got hundreds of people dying to abuse me.

I thought about that too. Unless we convinced one of the other guys (Ford, Durkin, Motley) to switch positions for 2015, I don't know if this kid would get the early playing time he wanted.

Johns also is looking to commit a full year before he graduates, if I read that right. Someone should tell the young man to slow down a bit so that he doesn't get disappointed if we don't offer him in the next month and change. Who knows what could happen later on down the road?

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Here is some film on Nick John's sophomore campaign. Good size, touch. Throws well on the move. He looks the part.

I have seen two quotes on Hokiesports that make me think McMillian has already moved to a new position.

http://www.hokiesports.com/football/recaps/20140327aab.html
"Beamer reiterated that Mark Leal, a redshirt senior, is the frontrunner. Leal struggled in the Sun Bowl in place of an injured Thomas, completing just 12 of 25 for 130 yards and throwing two interceptions. He will be challenged this spring by redshirt sophomore Brenden Motley and true freshman Andrew Ford, who enrolled this January.
The list of challengers will swell this summer when Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer and true freshman Chris Durkin arrive."

http://www.hokiesports.com/football/extras/2014VTspringoutlook.pdf
CoaCh loeFFleR
on the QUARTeRBACKS:
"Weve got three guys Mark Leal, Brenden Motley and Andrew Ford here. What we want to do is assess and see if we can evaluate and find a guy this spring that we think is reliable to compete for the starting job in the fall. In my opinion, the job will not be decided until the fall, because weve got two guys coming in here that we need to evaluate when they arrive for camp."- Scot Loeffler

Two quotes, both don't mention McMillian. Hmmmm.

Viva El Guapo

I would tend to agree.. based off of the film that Andy Bitter provided I saw 3 yellow jerseys.. I wouldn't be surprised to see McMillian in that WR group with Chopping Wood.

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

I remember reading that and thinking the same thing. Definitely will be curious to see what they do but I'd be lying if I said I couldn't see this kid leading a solid program and getting wins. He has a lot of intrigue to him including great size and toughness. Maybe it's his feet shuffle and throwing form that reminds me a little of Peyton Manning. Seems like a smart kid, committed to his craft considering his willingness to commute an hour plus to high school. It's worth nothing but I'm interested...

Minority Report.

McMillian was being recruited to play safety by most of the other schools recruiting him so he might also come out on that side of the ball working for Torrian.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

McMillian doesn't arrive until fall, correct? It'll be interesting to see how it plays out for sure.

Geez, his commute is worse than mine.

Colonial? Did he mix us up with W&M?

I thought we were always a little more...gothic?

I think he was talking about the town, not the campus. Plenty of old but picturesque houses. Probably one of the least commercialized towns in America. I can see where he's coming from.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Offer Nick Jonas and the rest of his brothers. Go Hokies.

He has commited to LOLUVA.

"I really just want stability within the coaching staff. Virginia Tech, Coach Beamer's been there forever, it's great. I think Coach Loeffler and the whole coaching staff's going to be there for a while."

Well I don't know how much that really factored into his decision if he picked UVA. Not that he should have picked us, but if you're looking for stability, jumping on a sinking ship is not the place to look.

I'm sure he would have selected VT, but he was never given the opportunity.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

You never know. I'm just surprised that if he was looking for stability, between UVA, Maryland, and NC State, UVA I would say has the least stability. A lot factors into these kids' decision though so who knows for sure what the deciding factor was.

Maybe the fact that they just named their starting QB and he knows that he is better than Lambert right away..

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

Best of luck to him. Looking forward to seeing him on his back/with his head hung low after our 15th/16th straight victories

Wow, never like to hear about that kind of thing. Such a tragedy, and he was so young, so full of life, and full of potential - he could have been anything. It doesn't seem fair.

Fortune Favors the Bold

Classic! and so true...

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

VT has a better program than Maryland, UVA, and NC State. Kind of glad we did not stoop to their level to get an offer to this kid. But best of luck to him!

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

NC State puts QBs in the league

Russell Wilson
The better Glennon
Phillip Rivers

That is 3 starters, or roughly 10% of the league.

Which wallet is yours?

The one that says "Bad Motherfucker"

Good thing the TOB at LOLUVA isn't the same TOB he was at State.

I support Coach Frank Beamer.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

Rivers played for Coach Chest and TOB ran Wilson out of town to Wisky. He really only gets full credit for Glennon, so the TOB from NC State isn't all that great either. He did have Matt Ryan for three seasons at BC, but kept him on the bench for 1.5 of them behind the likes of QB greats Paul Peterson and Quinton Porter. I am not sold on TOB as a QB coach that makes the best coaching decisions. Besides, London will have promised some other recruit that he will play him, probably Turtle, so the decision of who will start will already have been decided and TOB's potentially positive impact decreased significantly.

Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.

The "ran Russell Wilson out of town" is a little harsh considering the circumstances.

5-star Mike Glennon chose NC State because he thought he was going to play as a freshman under the coach that just finished coaching Matt Ryan (Wilson was a little known 2-star QB redshirt at the time). Coaches decide to redshirt Glennon in 2007 because they thought Wilson could be the "stopgap" guy for one year and Glennon could take over in 2008. Of course Wilson goes on to be 1st team all-ACC that year...fast forward to spring of 2011, Glennon threatens to transfer if he doesn't play that fall. TOB specifically tells Wilson he cannot come back to play football in the fall if he misses spring practice. Wilson chose to play professional baseball and skips spring practice. Wilson realizes he couldn't hit a curveball that summer and asks TOB if he can come back. TOB sticks to his guns and tells Wilson he can only come back as the backup QB. Wilson asks for a release and transfers to Wisconsin.

Given the circumstances, I'm actually taking TOB's side on the situation. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but at the time, I'd rather have 2 year of Mike Glennon than 1 year of Russell Wilson then another year of some scrub.

For the record, Little Glennon wasn't a 5-star recruit.

Exactly this - Glennon had just graduated as well, so if Wilson comes back, Glennon transfers and is eligible to play immediately.

I will admit that the "ran Russell Wilson out of town" comment was a bit overly dramatic. I do not fault TOB at all for the decision he made, since he kind of got himself into a no-win situation. He had a potential star QB who took all of the reps in spring practice (didn't that also happen the previous year?) vs. the established starter who wanted to have his cake and eat it too. Someone was bound to leave and sticking with the guy who would be there for two years that was dedicated solely to football was probably the prudent decision. He had to make a stand, because without spring practice, there was no real way for the two QBs to fully compete for the starting spot which could have allowed Glennon to actually win the job instead of it being handed to him.

But from a public perception standpoint, which is superficial at best, it looks like TOB sent Wilson packing. You and I and the intelligent fans on this board know better, but potential recruits see Russell Wilson winning a Super Bowl, and during his player introduction saying he is from Wisconsin, not NC State. So from a purely superficial standpoint, it does not look like TOB put Russell Wilson into the NFL. So that leaves Glennon, who may have been benched for McCown, and Matt Ryan who did not really blossom until TOB left. I was just trying to say that it could be debated that he puts QBs into the NFL.

Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.

I agree with this. I have a hard time believing TOB is any kind of QB guru able to get kids drafted. He's never had a team where his QB was flat out amazing. Even Wilson while playing for TOB was not great.

Wilson put Wilson in the NFL. His move to Whiskey was eye opening and I would say a pivotal point in regards to QB transfers in the NCAA. Kids are less willing to wait it out and compete when they can transfer and get a chance to start cleanly. See Durkin's comments about switching to VT from MSU. He is coming to play and play early. If that opportunity is not there for him he will transfer. Not doubt in my mind at all.

EDIT: Also would say that TOB decision with Wilson/Glennon and the subsequent success Wilson had at Whiskey was a big reason why he is now sitting bitch to TimeCop. It might not be fair to say he made the wrong call but I think it's fair to say he got the blame for it.

I really think that LOLUVA brought TOB in so he would be familiar with all the players when they can London at the end of the year. TOB will be head coach at three different ACC schools.

What a waste. He could have been a great LB at tech.

*TE

Wait...

**RT

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

I think we messed up by not getting him an offer. I felt like he wanted to be a Hokie and we're chasing after some guys I don't think we're going to get.

When I spoke with him, I sensed Tech might become his favorite if they offered. I also agree with you that our top options at QB seem destined to commit, then probably sign elsewhere. With that said, the program is deep at QB at the moment. Swinging for the fences in 2015 isn't a horrible strategy, because there isn't much of a downside if they miss. I think 2016 is the more important year.

That's a fair point. I don't think it'll hurt us if we don't get our QB this cycle.

I've always been a "don't count your recruits before they hatch" type of guy. I love what Ford/Mac/Durkin bring to the table as prospects but I'm not counting on any them unless they tangibly prove they can effectively take over the reins in spring/fall ball...I was a freshman in 2006 when I was told we were "stacked at QB" with 4-star Sean Glennon as a starter, 4-star Ike Whitaker as the backup and a 5-star high school commit named Tyrod Taylor coming over next year...I want the program to have multiple options at QB and not have to pray that one QB emerges from a single class.

Don't count them before they hatch, but at a certain point, if you have multiple guys in the fold, all of which you REALLY like and are likely going to redshirt, you kind of have to dance with the one that brought you. The last thing you want to have is a glut of talent at one spot that is taking away potential roster positions in other areas. You want talent at QB but right now we have 3 4* guys that will be in the fold for the next 5 years. The chances of someone else coming in and taking over for any of them, outside of said player being among the elite of the elites, is slim.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

I prefer the coaching staff go back to back true daily doubles like my hokie Roger Craig:

Goo luck to Nick . He will need it. Mike London is going to kill his talent like he did Rocco.

Loeffler evaluated him and even after Johns visited VT twice, we didn't offer him. That's why it doesn't really bother me that UVA got him. Judging by his offer list other East coast schools seem to agree with Lefty as well.

VT '15