SI Story on Jerod Evans

Interesting insight into Jerod's path through college and his various stints in the pros:

https://www.si.com/college/virginiatech/football/the-unfinished-story-of...

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Very important read for all Hokies. Some interesting nuggets on the 2016 season as well.

Wish him nothing but the best. We should never turn our backs on our fellow alumni even when we don't agree with their decisions. Be healthy and get paid JE!

Fantastic read. Thanks for sharing. A little ashamed that the fanbase was so disrespectful to him. Anyways...

The other was Evans' special relationship with then defensive coordinator Bud Foster. It's rare for defensive coordinators to play a large role in the recruitment of an offensive player, but Foster and Evans' relationship was more than rare.

Man, it sucks that Foster didn't get a chance to be a head coach anywhere. There's so many people who talk about him in a glowing way. I think that at the time, Fuente was 100% the right hire, but with hindsight, you wonder...

"I was worn out after the UNC game," Evans said. "I was running around 20-plus times a game. I was physically worn out. I actually stopped practicing for a while. I wouldn't practice until like Wednesday or Thursday every week. That was kind of like my schedule."

"They wanted me to do the same thing at Auburn and that's why I didn't go to Auburn," Evans said. "They wanted me to run 30 to 40 times. I can do it, you saw that at Virginia Tech, but I play quarterback. I'm a facilitator. I'm the point guard on the field. I like to facilitate and get people the ball and not have me do all of it when you've got weapons to do it."

Evans' desire to play in a balanced offense led him to Virginia Tech, where Evans still shouldered much of the offensive burden. At the time, Evans felt conflicted about his role in the offense.

Seems quite topical given that we recently lost DD to Auburn. I'm wondering how often this comes up in recruiting.

Anyways, regarding Evans' rushing, he had 11, 13, 11, 18, 18, 18, 11, 21, and 22 carries in the 9 games after UNC. I understand his frustration.

"I had told every coach that was my goal," Evans said. "I want to be one-and-done. Again, the person I was looking up to in that aspect is Cam Newton. If I had to come back my senior year, it wouldn't hurt me, but I had already let (Fuente) know before the season."

Props to Jerod for being upfront about it.

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After watching what the constant beating of being a primary ballhandler can do to a high talented QB in modern football (Donovan McNabb, Cam Newton, RG3, etc) a player is only looking out for himself by not wanting to play in an offense that wants him to run like a RB. Physically, you're much, much better off being a passing QB who can run rather than a Running QB who can throw, and any offense that has a heavy emphasis on you being able to run is only going to significantly shorten your career.

I mean hell, just being a QB who gets lit the f up behind the LOS can shorten the career of anyone. Like Troy Aikman and his concussions and Theismann and his injury as well as many others whose careers never had a chance to take off like Sam Bradford and Bridgewater. Being able to avoid contact is really one of the best ways to maximize your career earnings and aspirations.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Notorious running quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

Notorious, no. But he had 47 and 44 rushing attempts in the 2 seasons before he tore his ACL and dislocated his knee after rushing 89, 74, and 63 times in his 3 years at UofL. That's a lot of hits over time in a position where you really want to avoid contact as much as possible.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Michael Brewer technically had 80 rushing attempts in 2014 at Tech but i'm not labeling him a running quarterback.

Gobble Till You Wobble

The way we used him, I would.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Alum.... Rushing stats for quarterbacks include sacks.

Brewers numbers were 80 rushes for -5 yards.

Gobble Till You Wobble

He probably would have been used more if he hadn't been banged up early in both seasons - and there was anybody behind. I think he basically said so himself. And I think he said he was a much better runner than he got to show at VT.

and 1 epic fumble recovery

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

OFY

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Seemed weird to include a guy that averaged less than a yard per carry in college (not really primary ball carrier numbers) and suffered a non-contact injury in practice in the NFL. I get your point but he doesn't fit with those other guys.

Our traditional running game has sucked for a long while. - Spare me the irrelevant YPC stats compared to Kevin Jones, please. Thanks. We have not been able to line up and get tough yardage with a RB consistently for years. So we use the QB draw to supplement that. "3rd and Logan" didn't change when Fu got in here. In fact he runs it as much or more- why? Because we can't consistently line up and block for an RB when we don't have a numbers advantage.

We had a great running game through David Wilson when third and Logan was a thing

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Somehow this is (still) Curt Newsome's fault

Jokes aside, does anyone have an idea why our recruiting has been so poor at RB? I don't follow enough to know. I know that I enjoyed the hell out of games featuring Suggs and Jones when I was a student, and several that followed, but I don't think we've had a great core of RBs in a while. Seems the misses at that position have been more glaring than almost any other position group. Thoughts?

Dunno... we did have David Wilson, Ryan Williams, and Darren Evans all on scholarship at one point at the same time and that was an awesome lineup. Cedric Humes and Brandon Ore had their moments. The last RB that had a solid run with us was Travon McMillian in 2015, and I dont think we've had any consistency at RB since then. Arguably (and likely), a lot of that inconsistency has to do with play calling since 2016.

The Evans/Williams/Wilson trio was in 2010. Humes and Ore were before that. All of which fit into "several that followed."

It looked like we were on the verge of a great backfield circa 2014-2015 with Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams, but injuries kept derailing that plan. (Although it looks like Shai ended up with six years of eligibility and finally had a great 2019 season at Hampton.)

Man, I had such high hopes for Shai as a running back. I thought he was going to be big time.

1) it used to be the best athletes in high school played tailback. So, there were a ton of really good tailbacks available if you could find the right fit. Dwayne Thomas I don't believe was highly recruited (correct me if I am wrong) and proved to be an excellent player. The Hokies were not the only team that had a string of absurdly good tailbacks. I can recall Tennessee producing Reggie Cobb, James "Little Man" Stewart, Charlie Garner, Jamal Lewis, Travis Henry, Travis Stephens, and Arian Foster right on top of each other.

But, the NFL places less and less value on running backs primarily because their lifespan tends to be so short as far as production. High school athletes wised up, and started playing other positions. Now, I watch film of four star RBs who couldn't touch the elusiveness, toughness, and production of any number of backs. I think the pool is much smaller of running back talent.

2) Fuente's system is not tailback friendly. Not only are his RBs asked to pass protect. They also have to be the lead blocker for quarterbacks and jet sweeps. Plus, the tailback rarely gets the student body blocking because of the emphasis on misdirection.

I can say this, the tailbacks I have watched in Virginia HS football other than Devyn Ford basically since Marshawn Williams senior year have underwhelmed me. I don't see the days of the Herschel Walkers, Earl Campbells, George Rogers, Bo Jacksons, and Eddie Georges returning.

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

Those are good points I hadn't thought of. Makes sense though.

Fuente's system is not tailback friendly. Not only are his RBs asked to pass protect. They also have to be the lead blocker for quarterbacks and jet sweeps. Plus, the tailback rarely gets the student body blocking because of the emphasis on misdirection.

Then Fuente needs to recruit fullbacks.

โ€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.โ€ ~ lewiswb

Isn't that pretty much exactly what he has done in recruiting Dalton Keene & James Mitchell but under the TE label?

Not really. I think it is really hard to define a true tight end because they are asked to be a "Swiss Army Knife" position where they can be an extra offensive lineman, or eligible receiver, or someone to help the right tackle or left tackle chip the defensive tackle or end (depending on the blocking call). A fullback is a bit more specialize role as they were designed to take out blitzing linebacker and clear the way for the running back.

I was being a bit a wiseass in my comment to French because when I think of someone who road grade for the running back, I always think of some of the finest fullback to have been produced by the Hokies over the years. Shit, what was his name, Joey with that gloriious mallet? He was the last true fullback.

โ€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.โ€ ~ lewiswb

Man, fullbacks just don't exist anymore. It isn't a position whether you want to play it or not. That's where the more versatile TEs come in that can do what you mentioned.
There are about 1,000 "Death of the fullback" stories out there written by every publication. When FU is recruiting a Dalton Keene or a James Mitchell, he is doing so specifically to fill that role.

You know, this is probably a bit of a follow on to the conversation about top end athletes not all playing RB these days (or at least not as many). Tom Rathman would probably be a LB or a DE if he was coming up today.

Jokes aside, does anyone have an idea why our recruiting has been so poor at RB?

I don't know whether it was causation or correlation, but our RB program fell off right after Billy Hite retired/was retired.

Good point. Wonder if it was a drop in recruiting or talent evaluation or both, or possibly a coincidence that he retired about when the things French mentioned started happening?

Virginia running back talent jumped off a cliff for a number of years (DE too). It really explains a lot. For many years those were some of the deepest positions in VA, along with DB and QB.

That has been my position for years. Hite knew how to coach them because he was a running back himself. Shane Beamer was never a running back and his resume shows he has coached a number of positions. Zohn did ok with coaching them yet the issue remain that Virginia Tech hasn't had a running back that could win the one on one battle after Travon left.

โ€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.โ€ ~ lewiswb

Playing a certain position he'll even playing football at all has almost no bearing on coaching that position or coaching at all.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Respectfully disagree.

โ€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.โ€ ~ lewiswb

Billy hite was a very good coach, and he knew how to find talent. Out team has struggled at both coaching and picking talent since he has retired.

Man, talk about injuries...I feel for the guy. I'm glad he spoke to Fuente about being overused in the running game, and I hope that resonates with the coaching staff in developing our running backs. I don't want to see our Qbs taking a beating. I like Evan's discussion on being a facilitator, getting the ball in the hands of the playmakers..I like his overall outlook.

I didn't know about his time with Washington Valor...Ravens..come on we need a backup QB

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Pretty embarrassed by my reaction for him to leave in 2016. I wanted him to stay because he was a (much) better option than JJ and he really needed another year of seasoning. Given his injury history, family situation and his two top receivers leaving, it made sense for him to leave.

I still contend if Hodges, Ford & Evans stayed one more year, all three of them would have been drafted higher and we would have another coastal crown.

I was definitely on the side of defending their leaving, despite believing (and saying so) that Evans wasn't ready and would benefit from another year.

However, I think 2017 we had a legitimate shot at the ACC title if they had stayed. That was by far the most beatable of the Clemson playoff teams (2015-present) with Kelly Bryant at QB. Our offense was so pitiful against them in 2017, but it's hard to imagine that Evans, Ford, and Hodges wouldn't have bridged that gap substantially. That offense paired with the top 10 defense we had in 2017 in spite of the offense had a legit shot at a conference title IMO.

Agreed. This is one of the biggest what-ifs in VT football history to me, and frankly could have changed the course of the Fuente era. The trashing of Evans when he declared was out of line and unwarranted. But, I still don't think he fully understands that it was a very ill-advised decision from an NFL draft perspective. It's not all about just winning games and stats - you have to be comfortable reading defenses and consistently throwing under pressure from the pocket. Evans, for as great as he was, needed another year of seasoning before he was ready for the NFL. Everyone knew it, from fans, to coaches, to scouts. Part of him scrambling around was because of a lack of comfort in the pocket. He needed another year to become a true bona-fide NFL QB prospect, and with everything we could have returned in 2017 and the success we could have had, it was all lined up for him. But he instead went the route of instant gratification. Again, no ill will toward him whatsoever, but 2017 was VT's for the taking had the nucleus of that offense returned. I agree all would have been drafted higher, and frankly Evans could have gotten some dark horse Heisman love.

I also understand his frustrations with how much he had to run in Fuente's offense to generate rushing yards. The traditional run game still has not fully developed in the Fu era, although we saw some signs of life at times last season. I sit back and think about 2017 and how Evans, Ford, and Bucky returning could have changed the entire trajectory of that season and this program to date. I really do think the Fuente era went off half-cocked because of what happened with these early departures. Really a shame.

We win 11 games minimum if they came back

This feels too low, you're saying Bucky, Ford, and Evan's are only worth 2 games? With that defense?

Well we lost to GT, that's a comfortable win with a competent offense. We lost to Clemson and we lost Miami. He could easily just be arguing that our regular season is at least 11 games. Assuming he is saying he's confident we go 11-1 reg season (overturn GT and 1 of Miami/Clemson).

But even after that, no guarantee we get another win. I'd like to say we do, but the next two potential games would be a ACCCG and a NY6/CFP game. Even with all those guys back I don't think anyone without O&M blinders has us beating Bama, Georgia, or Oklahoma, so that leaves our potential 12th win coming from ACCCG or NY6 bowl. Both of which are not guaranteed wins.

I think "minimum 11" wins is a comfortable declaration in either context.

It's crazy to think how different the narrative on Fuente and VT would've been if all three returned. We win 10+ games again. We probably never need Ryan Willis. The defense probably still has a down year in 2018, but I'm not sure if the culture gets as toxic as it did. Even if 2018 is a rebuild, Fuente's record wouldn't look like a steady decline; rather, the decline would coincide with a single huge class leaving...

Anyways, we'll never know.

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If the nucleus of that offense returned in 2017, we win 11 games and are in the Orange Bowl instead of Miami at worst. So much could have unfolded differently. I doubt JJ/Willis ever start a game for VT, Hooker is the starter in 2018 which was going to be a rebuild anyway, but so much goodwill and momentum built up from two strong first years. Then last year we have Hooker starting the season with a year under his belt. The entire Fuente era would be in a much different spot.

The entire Fuente era would be in a much different spot.

Fuente may have actually went to Baylor lol

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"SI"... yep... Hi everyone, I'm Frank Beamer... since I attend VT games

So I guess DD committing to Auburn was their revenge for us beating them to Jerod? Karma.

I'm not sure staying in 2017 would have helped him that much anyway. He would have just been used as a battering ram again because the running game was largely ineffective from the running backs that year too. He also had less receivers to throw to. On the surface, it looked like a bad decision, but it's tough to fault him knowing what we know now.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

As long as Evans is willing to put in the work and not give up at it, he'll find a level of success somewhere. It may not be where he expects/wants to be right now, but the drive and grit will carry him far.

And man his injury with the Eagles makes me think of Danny Coale's injury with the Cowboys. The man was never injured while playing for the Hokies. Then he goes to Dallas, inures his foot (iirc) and never sees the field during a regular season game. Here's hoping Jerod gets an opportunity in the NFL.

The man was never injured while playing for the Hokies.

Hard to get injured when you're always open.

I regret that I have but 1 leg to give to this

And the FSU safety who lost Danny Coale is still looking for him.

โ€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.โ€ ~ lewiswb

Good read, interesting take on how he did not like how Fuente was using him at the time. Probably led to his early departure and cost him some NFL $$$$

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
โ€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

According to the article Jerod told the staff up front that he was a one and done, so I'd assume hia usage had nothing to do with him leaving

And, from the many rumors, it appears he knew he was going to be one and done and had stopped going to class and/or never completed the one semester he was on campus. He may have backed himself into a corner where he had no option other than to go pro.

I could be totally wrong on that front, and we will forever be in his debt for carrying that team on his back the way he did. A true warrior.

I don't think you intended this to be spiteful, but I'm pretty sure there's a rule on here on speculating on a player's academic performance beyond publicly released news.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

I don't think there's a rule but it's a lil gauche. Academic eligibility could be the case, but maybe it isn't -- not worth speculating on federally protected personal data

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

It's been put out there by some trusted insiders on other sites. It's similar to injury info where the truth comes out much later.

It's Time to go to Work

Injury information gets corroborated or refuted in front of our eyes when a player does or does not participate in games. Grade information doesn't. If people want to gossip about students' academic records, do it elsewhere. I put my foot down on that long ago. It's not an official Community Guideline, but we are better than speculating on academic performance. How many of us would like strangers on the Internet discussing how we did in our college classes without any actual firsthand knowledge...or at all?

Sorry, but in no way did I intend to impugn his intelligence or work ethic. Evans was admitted to the Air Force Academy, for Chrissake, so he's obviously a very, very smart guy. He admitted to coming in with the goal of being one and done, and apparently focused his time at VT entirely on football. He took advantage of the opportunity provided to him, and there's nothing wrong with that.

And yes, this issue has been cited by several people a lot closer to the program than I, so I didn't think I was crossing any boundaries. The regulars on this site should know that I do not try to stir anything up, and I don't even post that often. I don't attack fellow Hokies, and I certainly don't 'gossip'.

Chill...and peace.

Interesting how you can disparage his academics and get upvotes yet criticism of the staff usage of him gets downvotes

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
โ€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Pretty sure you're getting downvoted because your post directly contradicts what Evans said in the article about why he left.

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

Maybe but I don't think anyone was surprised at how FU ran his offense. Paxton Lynch didn't get drafted because he was a pure drop back passer. Evans had to know the type of offense Fu was going to run leveraging the read option. While he may have been over-used in the running, that's fair - but everyone expects VTs QB is a key part of the running game.

I'm not sure what you're saying here... Paxton Lynch ran for 687 yards in 2.5 seasons as a starter. He was not a dual threat QB. Fuente is running our QB's like crazy because we haven't had a running back capable of making big plays.

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Fuente is running our QB's like crazy because we haven't had a running back capable of making big plays.

Also because Corny refuses to attack UVA's weak secondary with the pass.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Interesting stuff, been wondering about him for a long time and it's been hard to find any info at all, guess that is the shell he climbed into. I know Andy Bitter tried to contact him numerous times and never got an interview.
Was a wonderful QB for us for one year, but the real bottom line is that basically the world, especially pro scouts (I remember one being quoted as saying he was at one of our games and none of the scouts were even evaluating him because the consensus already was not ready) told him not to go, to stay for another year and develop. And the bottom line is he went against all that advice because his mind was already made up. I wish him luck but he is gonna need a lot more than that to climb the mountain he is trying to get up since every year brings another slew of hot new QBs. He would have to put up some fabulous numbers somewhere to get any attention.
Caleb seems to be a redshirt senior QB at UL Monroe, the only Lance Evans Google found finished his college career at Texas A&M in 2016.

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"I never thought Virginia Tech fans would do that to me," Evans said. "It hurt me a lot that... I thought they would be happy for me actually, but I was in for a rude awakening. But that was a wake-up call for me in general, because it showed me not to take everything to heart."

It is embarrassing to see that as a fan. I'm biased to thinking that players put too much stock into twitter, the most consistently toxic popular social media site. But even on this site I do remember people throwing some shade. Those people were downvoted... but still embarrassing.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

TWITTER??? Slowly I turn...

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His draft announcement led to some of the most infamous shade this site has ever seen

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Ain't that the dam truth

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

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Moral of the story: never go full arnie.

โ€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.โ€ ~ lewiswb

we had a commenter go three quarters arnie with some unsolicited opinion recently... not quite full arnie, but he was one or two adjectives away from getting nuked in like four or five consecutive comments

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

That was an interesting trip down memory lane. I forgot just how hostile parts of that thread were!

I took a look to see if I said anything that I might end up regretting. I'm ashamed to say that I did. I'm not proud of it but emotions were high at the time and I would take it back in a heartbeat if I could. Anyways, I'll just post it here to remain accountable for my prior actions.

Josh is going to be an ACC Player of the Year one day. I got this feeling. He is gonna be good, no he is going to be great.

It was P95 Waffle Coffee

(from the article)

What a delicious play call

You know this is the same situation as recruiting. It is their decision and it's up to them. We as fans are here to support all Hokies of their life changing decisions. We may not all agree with those decisions, for whatever reason, but we must still support them for making their decision. It is their life and they must live it.

I still feel that Jerod would have benefited from staying for another year. I have never been upset with him for making his own decision. After reading this I'm happy to know that he set his goal for being a 1 and done and he achieved that goal. Good for him, that is a hard goal to achieve in CFB in it's current state. Come in, start the first game, play in the ACCCG. That is a hell of an accomplishment. That's waaay more than I can do in Football.

I wish him nothing but the best and hope he finds a home in the NFL. Too bad the XFL didn't make it, that would have been a good place for him to get some tape and exposure out there.

I have long felt that Jerod proved on the field that he was an obviously better QB than Trubisky. Yet 'Bisky wound up a top 2 pick and Evans went undrafted, which I found utterly astounding. I hope he gets his shot and that he stays healthy, which (injury history) admittedly may have played a role in his not getting picked.

Eh I don't really agree there. Trubisky was a legitimate first round draft prospect, shouldn't have gone #2, but still did a lot of things better than Jerod. I think part of VT fans stance on this comes from playing him in a game that was clearly not a passing set up. Belittle his pro success but he was crushing it in 2016.

Evans, for all of his success here, wasn't a great MOF passer and intermediate thrower imo. It limited what we could do offensively and was part of the reason our offense was sort of boom or bust in 2016 imo.

I thoroughly agree with you. He was a good QB, I loved him to death, but his passing was suspect in a couple of areas. The middle stuff, and the bombs he missed badly were glaring to me, but as I said, I was still a big fan and really wanted him back.

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