2018 Spring Game HokieVision Highlights

Includes Deshawn McClease breaking ankles and Phil Patterson's amazing circus catch. Enjoy.


from someone who couldn't make it today, thanks for the share!

1-0 every week

What a great day! Hokie players are all class! Very respectful and easy to talk to. I asked Ricky, "who's your favorite QB to sack?" He thought about it for a second and said "Easy, whoever is playing for UVA." Love Ricky even more now!!

When he moves on to the next chapter in their lives, I hope people appreciate how important Ricky Walker has been to this program.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

James Gayle would approve.

Is Willis in serious play to b the starter? That guy showed out today and it didn't look like a fluke

He put the ball on the money on several long throws into tight coverage and when he got into a rhythm the offense started rolling. Ladler should have had a pick 6 on him though. He stared down grimsley on a slant and ladler jumped it perfectly, he just dropped the ball. He also mishandled a snap. Willis seems like he will take more chances and isn't afraid to throw into tight windows. He'll throw more ints than JJ. Small sample size but I still think Willis was clearly better yesterday.

JJ didn't show much improvement. He was tentative and under threw several balls. He is so uninspiring to watch.

He'll throw more ints than JJ.

That sure sounds like a Justin Fuente Second String Quarterback™️ to me

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

JJ legitimately could have had 3 picks in THE FIRST HALF. He was just not accurate.. The pick he had was thrown in to tight coverage and tipped for a pick. Then had a underthown deeper ball that Waller probably should have picked. He forced another that was dicey. Bottom line he was looser with the ball than Willis or Hooker I thought.

'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'

Obviously Fuente values ball security, but you can't play so conservatively and fearful of INTs that you only throw short 10 yard passes all game. This offense has to progress to the next level of taking some shots and connecting on big plays to be successful. I like that Jackson is mindful and protective of the football, but sometimes just playing within the system is not going to be enough, and the QB will need to make a play downfield or with his legs. That's the part I think that limits him right now. Couple that with the fact that he wasn't exactly super careful with the ball yesterday, and its a little concerning. Someone like Willis who isn't afraid to let it rip could provide a serious push for Jackson over the summer and into fall camp. A difference maker at QB this year will be the difference potentially between a 7-8 or 10 win season with as much youth as we have.

If it were all things equal, Willis throws more ints than JJ, I would agree.

If Willis didn't drop one snap and Tuck Rule that one pass I'd have told you he looked like the best QB out there.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Savoy, McClease & Fox....

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Savoy has the worst day of the three WR. He should have caught the ball that got picked and wasn't open much else.

Patterson and Grimsley were the guys getting open. And as good as the Patterson one handed was, his TD absolutely turned Rodgers inside out.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I absolutely love Savoy and his athleticism, but the drops last year were concerning. You can't be a reliable target if you struggle with drops or can't win a 50/50 ball against a defender with some consistency. Patterson looks to be the real deal if he can translate that ability to the season. We've heard of his ability for a few offseasons now, hopefully he can stay healthy and step up big time for us this year.

I never thought savoy was anything outstanding. He's small and doesn't have great hands. The only thing going for him is that he's quick

Recruit Prosim

He was obviously good enough to make the highlight reel. Just sayin ...

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

That catch by Patterson is unreal. Fuente said in postgame that he makes those kind of catches regularly in practice, but they're working on his consistency on making the easy catches.

My takes from the game:

It was hot, especially for Blacksburg in the Spring

Willis looked like a gun slinger out there. Competition is good and I think we have one at QB.

Would have loved to have seen Hooker play more with some of the 1's. He had a very nice pass for a TD dropped by Kaleb Smith.

WR's looked improved. Patterson's one handed over the shoulder catch was SCTop10 worthy.

DL depth scares me. Hope and pray everyone stays healthy. Need another year for the 2's and 3's to get bigger and stronger.

Rivers looked pretty good.

The RB's have improved. Get COLEMAN FOX more touches this year.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

I have been hesitant to jump on the Coleman Fox train, and would have loved to have seen him when the best defensive lineup was on the field. But, the kid reads the blocking and finds bubbles in the zone really really well. It isn't an accident, and it isn't a byproduct of playing against scrubs. He grew on me yesterday.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

He's got a nice wiggle and quickness to him in the open field. We need to figure out how to get him the ball on screens, use him like Carolina uses McCaffery.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

Why McCaffery and not some other multi purpose back? 🤔


The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Tbh Jaylen Samuels from NC State might be a better comparison, although by his senior season he was catching more balls than he was running.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

In one of the earlier instagrams, I thought they had him at slot. It would interesting to see if they continue with that.

Just FYI - I was watching these highlights at .25 speed to see some of the plays in a little more detail, and man, if you want to get an idea of what it would be like for Laaser to call a game completely smashed, you're in for a treat.

Patterson catch and McClease long run, yes please.

Not biting on the Willis hype, I think he will be a great backup but I don't think he'll be taking Jackson's job. Though I don't care if he does, I want the best guy on the field, just not bought in yet.

Care to elaborate?

My reasoning is fairly simple why I am tentative to bite on the hype. I'll break it down in a few short points:

1) Limited sample size. The only real work we've seen from him is in instagram story/snapchat videos and in the spring game, which I believe is a historically unreliable (inconsistent) source of future production across the board for all schools.

2) He's the backup to a QB who had a disappointing stretch/isn't the superstar everyone wants. The backup QB across all levels of football has always been the most exciting player on the team with the most potential unless you have a unanimous top 5 QB. For lack of a better term off the top of my head, it's something of a "possibility bias" where you believe that because we know what the starter (Jackson) has to offer and we think that we must have a better QB somewhere coming up through the ranks/recruit. So we apply this ideal of "the upgrade" to whoever else is on the roster/on the way in. This is just one of those permanent phenomenons in football. I mean even recently in our fanbase we had "Leal truthers." That was a real thing, there were real people who thought we would be better off benching Logan Thomas, who provided an overwhelming majority of our offense, for Mark Leal.

3) My biased and unreliable point. I think it's a really bad signal if a transfer from one of the consistently worst teams in the P5 is better than our scholarship quarterbacks. That doesn't signal that we are team on the path to reclaim that elite status and become a playoff team.

we are team on the path to reclaim that elite status

I love the Hokies just as much as the next guy but when were we ever considered elite? I don't think we can reclaim something we've never been able to claim before. Sure we were somewhat of a Cinderella in '99 and spent the next 5 years squandering opportunities to prove we could claim elite status. Those failures, however, mean that it was never a status we could rightfully claim. JMO

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

From 2000-2007 (though you could put * for '01, '02, beginning '04, '06) I'd say we were considered by the media as elite (especially when we nabbed ACCCs on the reg).

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

It depends on your definition of elite. For example. How many teams can say they have played in a National Championship? I think getting to a national championship makes you elite. Even if only for a year.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

There have been multiple "weighted" type rankings of the 2000-2010 decade (they pop up on r/cfb from time to time) and we always land around #7 for that period no matter which ranking system or weighting is used. I would consider that elite. Elite is a subjective term, you may only consider 1-4 teams elite, I would say sustained success for that long makes you elite. For context, while Clemson has a national title and playoff appearances to boost over us, they are on a 7 season 10 win streak, their longest in history, we went 8 consecutive seasons with 10+ wins. Obviously Clemson's run is better, but just context for comparison.

Here are some articles about us in the top 10 for the decade. Just a few I could google easily, but if I did a deep dive on r/cfb I could find some more interesting ones.

ESPN list. #9

SBNation, Scroll down a bit as they do each decade. #7

College football News 2000-2009 rankings #9

edit: To clarify, I don't consider myself to be an unrealistic fan, I know where we were strong in the 2000's and I know the areas where we fell short. However, I do firmly disagree with this growing sentiment of "that era was total shit and we weren't really that good." While I think the ACC has been better because the absolute top has been better, I don't think the rest of the league has been consistently better outside of the 2016 anomaly where all these great quarterbacks propped up their teams. I think it's been fairly similar story in the way of inconsistency and mediocrity across the majority of the ACC. Clemson is picking on a weak league (sans 2016) just as much as we were in the mid 2000's, particularly the last three years where FSU has been a shell of its title winning form (even in 2016 they finished strong but were far from extraordinary).

I concede that defining a team as elite is subjective. In that case, I will humbly accept your definition and agree to declare the early 2000s teams as such. However, I want VT to reach new heights, never before seen by any Tech teams of the past. Simply reclaiming our "glory days" when we were beating up on a weak ACC and losing marquee games to big name opponents isn't good enough for me. At best, I want to see VT consistently play at the level of historic blue-blood programs, vying for and winning National Championships. At worst, I want to see VT have some successful seasons where that success is marked by making it into the playoffs and winning at least the first game.

I realize it's unfair to compare my desires to years past just because of the new Playoff era but the current reality is that we are competing in a different environment now and our aspirations should fit the model of the times.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

We want the same things. I think my wording in that that third point about reclaiming was perhaps misleading. I also want us to eclipse that previous level and become a somewhat consistent playoff contender, I want to see us lift that National Championship trophy.

That's a strong take. SSS data, Backup QB Syndrome and .....Kansas. Totally agree.

My thought is that Willis is a solid backup, if he needs to play, we will be a lot better off than last year. But Fuente wants a Bobby Hurley, a guy who distributes to the other talent on the team and doesn't make mistakes. Hurley grew into a guy who could create his own shot and knock down the big 3, but early, he was a distributor. JJ can follow that path, he's got mature skills now and as he gets older, he's going to have make plays to get us to the next level. But right now, distribute, make the right calls, don't make mistakes.

Willis is much better than Leal, as is Jackson.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Now that is a real Leal thruther opinion.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Weren't the two main weakness in the offense last year that it couldn't take the top off of it, and the QB wasn't mobile enough to keep defenders honest on runs? Now there's someone that seems to be better at both. Feels like folks are underselling the RMFWillis odds a little bit.

Disclaimer: it's the offseason, and I'm bored, and I am may intentionally be trying to stir the pot for something to read. Regardless, it seemed like valid thought at the time.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Yes and yes. However, also remember that Fuente has professed to be turnover-adverse. So if Willis is making boo-boos in practice, it would hurt his chances.

My first spring game review is focused on QBs. It will have more detail.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Membership has its rewards. Looking forward to it French! 😎😁

Hokie fan | W&M grad

truth on the turnovers and Walker was quoted as saying JJ didnt throw his first pick in spring till like the 13th practice

Is consistently making bad throws and going 3 and out as bad as a pick? Neither is good. Almost picks are a symptom. Not going vertical is an issue. Moving the ball and scoring is the goal. If you can't move the ball because of turnover worries you are not going to be effective. It's got to be intuitive. See the coverage, make good reads, get the ball out quickly. That should be the way you judge the QB. Mobility is another factor if you don't have Tom Brady's line. Do our guys have pocket presence?

#Let's Go - Hokies

Playing field position > quick changes and having OL and your QB trying to tackle a DB in the open field.

But the QB play does have to be better. A game manager isn't a game manager if they don't make the correct reads and deliver accurate throws to open receivers. (Spoiler Alert 🚨 🚨)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

So did anyone in the stands see Mook or Adonis?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Thought they were out with injuries or rehab.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I didn't see them in street clothes anywhere either.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Yeah, that's something I've always wondered. If players are injured/rehab & out for the Spring Game, are they required to at least be present for the game??

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I didn't see them. i also did not see henri murphy and hes usually one of the guys that i talk to every game. i did notice a lot of guys that didn't play (because of injuries they were in blue during warmups) did dress out though. it is odd to me that they weren't out there in street clothes.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

Did anyone happen to see Kumah take a snap? He was dressed but I didn't see him put his helmet on all afternoon. Maybe they're trying to get Patterson and Grimsley more reps, but with how often Savoy was used I figured Kumah would be getting a lot of targets too.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." - Jay Bilas

He did not play. Groups were:

1's: Grimsley, Patterson, Savoy
2's: Sean Daniel, Kaleb Smith, Justin Hairston

Hazelton, Kumah, Murphy, Carroll, and Tre Turner did not play. I did not see Murphy, Hazelton, or Carroll. Kumah and Turner dressed and did warmups.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Was it me, or did our O line get the best of our D line for most of the day? I know Vinny was out, but... If I'm right, this means one of 3 things; good year for the O line, bad year for the D line, or both. What say you all?

In Bud we trust


Yeah, OL is the strength of this team. It's hard to get our brains wrapped around that. And with how Vice is recruiting, it may be the strength for the next 5+ years.

But DL needs to pick it up. Our first four will be good, but anybody beyond that is a big question mark. There is hope with the r-Fr DE's and Goode, but we are going to be forced to play a handful of guys who probably aren't p5 talent. And I'm not sure I feel great about the DL future either.

I wouldn't say it's going to be THE strength. It certainly could be, but WR, safety, and potentially DE could be just as strong.


I'd think it was a tentatively good sign for the OL. There's two things that keep me from getting too excited about it though. 1. We were not at full strength on the DL. 2. Bud was limited in his playbook. He said in the postgame interview that he was only allowed to run his base defense and was not allowed to blitz. I'd think our OL would look good against most defenses playing under those constraints.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

Bud stemmed a bunch, which was odd for the spring game. The LBs also delay blitzed a bunch (which is one reason those screens popped.)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

DT- Ricky Walker was excellent, Xavier Burke and Jarrod Hewitt were disruptive at times. However, there is still a big drop off between Walker and the rest of the DTs. Hewitt and Burke both get pushed past their gap fits more than the young linebackers and defensive backs are quite ready to overcome.

Belmar, Garbutt, and Debose all had some wow moments. Proctor may be another year away technique-wise. However he is physically impressive and gets off the ball with some serious explosion. I didn't even get to eyeball test Eli Adams (46 is just a hard number to spot once the ball starts moving.) I really think this is the best the defensive end position has looked top to bottom since the Chris Ellis, Orion Martin, Jason Worilds days.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I'm pretty sure Goode will get some snaps this year

I hope he comes in ready to do work.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

i didn't see wheatley get any reps? was he hurt? after hearing good things about him all spring i was excited to see him in action. but nothing.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

He was a non-participant

1-0 every week

Guys who I saw dressed that didn't play:

Tre Turner

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Farley was dressed as well.

I saw him and Deablo doing warmups in uniform, but not on the field during the game.

Our QB situation is odd because we have a freshman coming off, by freshman standards, a great year. I think the issue most have with Jackson is we don't see much room for improvement. He is not a great runner, etc. Unfortunately, our offense historically has either needed someone who is extra special in the pocket or they have to be an above average runner. Jackson seems to fall in the middle on both of those categories. I think he will be ok, and his supporting staff will have a lot to do with that. But I really believe McClease will have a big year and the receivers are going to be very good. OL seems to be a strength as well. I hate to see Jackson lose his spot after playing so well as a freshman, but let the competition play out and either way we know we will have a pretty decent quarterback.