Top of the Stairs. You might've met your ex-girlfriend at the iconic Blacksburg bar. Or perhaps you met your maker after imbibing several of TOTS' signature drink — the Rail. Regardless, it's the spot where quarterbacks Brenden Motley and Jerod Evans met while the latter was on his official visit to Virginia Tech.
"Brenden Motley actually saw me at the bar, because I'm 22, so don't get no idea," Evans said. "He met me at the bar and he said 'Congrats man, now let's get to business.' So he gave me a warm welcome here."
The pair's impromptu introduction was one of the many subjects discussed after Virginia Tech's Tuesday practice. Although it might disappoint you that the ballyhooed media appearance of Evans and Motley was not a tell for an announcement of Tech's starting quarterback. Justin Fuente seems to be in no rush to do that. Meanwhile, Motley and Evans continue to vie for QB1, and both know what's at stake personally and for the Hokies.
"On the field (Motley's) very business oriented," Evans said. "I'm very business oriented. We just want the team to win, whether it's me or it's him, we just want the team to win. Him being a fifth-year senior, I'm being a redshirt junior, we get it. We get the game. We get the business. He understands it, I understand it. We just want the best for the team. May the best man win."
Virginia Tech's sixth straight football practice included a controlled scrimmage designed to limit the participation of Tech's veteran players, and work the inexperienced chunks of the roster. The Hokies will follow up a day off on Wednesday with three straight days of practice.
ON WHETHER OR NOT THE COACHING STAFF PROVIDES UPDATES ON THE QUARTERBACK COMPETITION:
"Coach has always been upfront from the get-go. He tells us it's competition, like he told me when I first came in here. We fighting it out. We both quarterbacks so we both have the same position and we both have the same goal for the team. We want this team to succeed. And so we just having a battle right now, and coach will make that decision he deems it necessary."
ON IF HE AND BRENDEN MOTLEY HAVE SIMILAR OR DIFFERENT SKILL SETS:
"I'm me, he's him. We play the game that we love."
"I'm a charismatic type of guy. I love the game of football just like he love the game of football. There's not too much that's different, just love the game."
ON HIS HISTORY WITH FUENTE'S COACHING STAFF, THE RECRUITING PROCESS, AND WHAT ULTIMATELY MADE HIM COME TO VIRGINIA TECH:
"Straight-forward; don't beat around the bush. Great coach. Players love him and gravitate around him. Same reason I gravitate around him, he's just a great coach. He gets his players."
ON IF FUENTE'S OFFENSE FIT WITH HIS OFFENSE IN JUNIOR COLLEGE:
"A lot schools fit my system. It's an era of spread the ball, go fast tempo. A lot of teams are doing what we're doing. It's fast tempo getting the job done. I wanted to make a smooth transition wherever I went, but all teams are pretty much going to the spread offense."
ON HIS DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS WITH HIS TEAMMATES:
"It's just like anything, you have to do your due diligence, get to know them. Still doing that, it's only been seven, eight months, so I'm still getting to know them. I think it's going pretty smooth. That's pretty much how it's going right now, just getting to know them, feel them out, etc..."
ON WHETHER HE'S GONE FISHING WITH ANY OF HIS TEAMMATES:
"I have not fished with them. I went to the lake with a couple of them, but not fished."
ON WHAT HE DID AT THE LAKE:
"Jet skiing, a little boarding."
ON HOW HE FIRST MET FUENTE, AND IF HE KNOWS HOW HE CAUGHT HIS EYE:
"Coming out of high school, not highly recruited, running the I-formation. He saw something in me I guess that a lot of people didn't see. So 2012, Memphis Tigers, he gave me an official visit. That's how he caught me, I don't know how it went. He liked what he saw in me so he wanted me to take an official visit."
ON WHETHER OR NOT HE HAD A LINGERING LOYALTY TO FUENTE:
"No, not at all. It came in full circle. He had his man in Paxton Lynch, who as you know was a first-rounder, and it just came back full-circle. How everything worked out, with all the other recruiting I had on my official visits coming out of JUCO, it just so happened that this came about."
ON WHY HE ENDED UP ATTENDING JUNIOR COLLEGE:
"It definitely wasn't grades. I went to the Air Force Academy; you can't just go into the Air Force Academy. It definitely wasn't grades. It's just the little things. I had to do a little maturing. And so I think god put me in a place I needed to be."
ON DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUCO OFFENSE AND FUENTE'S OFFENSE:
It's pretty much the same. All teams run same spread offense, just might run a little things different. Might run want to run zone more than throw the ball down the field more. Vice versa, they might want to throw the ball down field more, and then run zone later. It all mixes. At the end of the day it's the same thing. Football is football. You got to go score, you got to go tackle, you got to have more points than the opponent. Spread is the new regime of football right now, and that's pretty much it."
ON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH QB BRENDEN MOTLEY:
"When I first came up here, it was Michael Brewer, he showed me around on my recruiting visit. Brenden Motley actually saw me at the bar, because I'm 22, so don't get no idea. He met me at the bar and he said 'Congrats man, now let's get to business.' So he gave me a warm welcome here."
"On the field he's very business oriented, I'm very business oriented. We just want the team to win, whether it's me or it's him, we just want the team to win. Him being a fifth-year senior, I'm being a redshirt junior, we get it. We get the game. We get the business. He understands it, I understand it. We just want the best for the team. May the best man win."
ON HOW FUENTE APPLIES PRESSURE DURING PRACTICE:
"Coach Fuente has his methods. He definitely has his methods. It depends if you're used to it or not. I'm very used to it. I'm very used to situations like that, people in my face, people not in my face. I'm used to those situations, but he has his methods. He wants to see if the guy you choose is going to fold under pressure. If he's ready for the stage. Again, he's been doing this for a while. He's been at TCU, he's been at Memphis, now he's here. He knows exactly what he's doing."
ON IF THE QUARTERBACK NAMED STARTER IS SETUP TO SUCCEED BECAUSE OF VETERAN OFFENSIVE LINE AND OFFENSIVE WEAPONS:
"Most definitely. Guys are veterans like you said. The system will run regardless. You got multiple weapons, and not just them, you have young guys stepping up."
ON DAILY FEEDBACK FROM THE COACHES ON THE QUARTERBACK COMPETITION:
"Every day the coaches are telling us that we're out here to get the team better. Keep working. Work on consistency. Bring the team along with you, bring the second-team guys along with you. Basically right now we're just trying to go out on the field and execute and make the plays when they come along."
ON DIFFERENCE IN QUARTERBACK COMPETITION FROM ONES IN THE PAST:
"It's my last year. That's about the only thing that feels different. Same work ethic, still got everything I got. It's my last year though, so you know obviously it means a little bit more. But we're still working hard. The work hasn't changed, still doing the same things we've been doing."
ON WHETHER OR NOT MOTLEY HAS AN ADVANTAGE IN THE QB COMPETITION BECAUSE HE'S BEEN THROUGH ONE BEFORE AND HAS BEEN A STARTER AT VIRGINIA TECH:
"I know what it feels like, but at the end of the day I still got to go out there and make the plays. Still got to go out there and whatever play is called I got to execute it. It doesn't matter what I've been through or what anyone else have been through. We still got to go out there every play and execute."
ON GESTURE TO BUY EVANS A BEER AT TOTS AND THOUGHTS ON WELCOMING HIM:
"I saw him out there, I did meet him there, and it was just 'Hi, hello, how you doing?' Talked a little bit 'Where you from?' this and that. That's all I got on that."
ON HIS FEELING ABOUT NEW HOKIES' STAFF BRINGING IN A JUCO QUARTERBACK:
"You got to have depth everywhere. That's their guy (Evans) that they had from Memphis I believe. So I expect them to recruit, they're going to recruit the position, that's what they should do. The deeper we are at every position the better. Depth is always good. It doesn't matter what position or what guy it is, it's always good."
ON NUANCES OF JUSTIN FUENTE'S OFFENSE VERSUS PREVIOUS OFFENSES HE'S PLAYED IN:
"It has its pros and cons. I like it a lot, it's fast paced. It's a lot of fun when you get rolling. It is different like you said, but I like it. I enjoy it a lot. The coaches have been doing a great job helping us out. The transition has been smooth and all that. I'm enjoying it. It's awesome."
ON WHETHER THE NEW OFFENSE AND ITS VERBIAGE ARE STILL AS SIMPLE TO PICK UP AS IN SPRING:
"It's simple and sweet. You get the call, get lined up and the run the play, execute. Simple and sweet: I think that's how it should be. We're going to keep working on it. We still have some work to do, and we need to execute a little better."
ON WHAT'S THE KEY TO A FAIR QUARTERBACK COMPETITION:
"I'm not Coach. I have no clue how that works. I just go in when I'm told to go in. When I'm out there I got a responsibility just like everybody else out there on the field. When I'm told to go in, I just go in and try to execute the play perfectly."
ON IF HE NOTES WHO IS GETTING WHAT REPS IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS:
"No, you can't do that kind of stuff. That means you're thinking about something you shouldn't be thinking about. When you go out there on the field every day, you're focused on getting people around you better. Getting the team around you better. Supporting whoever's in the game, it doesn't matter. And that's my focus every day, is to go out, practice hard, play hard, support whoever's in. Whether it be Jerod (Evans), or Josh (Jackson), or Jack Click. It doesn't matter. Go support and bring people along with you."
ON IF HE COULD NOT KNOW WHO THE STARTER WAS UNTIL THE LIBERTY GAME AND BE COMFORTABLE GOING IN:
"If that's what Coach wants to do, that's what we'll do. I have no problem with it at all. I'm a team-first guy. I know Rod's a team-first guy. If that's what Coach wants to do, then that's fine with me."
ON HOW FUENTE PUTS PRESSURE ON THE QUARTERBACKS IN ABSENCE OF BEING LIVE DURING PRACTICE:
"When we're on air, he's giving us coverages, giving us looks. If we don't go where we're supposed to go with the ball he's at us pretty hard. He's at our neck pretty hard. That's what the position is all about though is pressure. Sometimes you'll be under pressure and you got to execute and you got to make those plays when you are under pressure."
ON BENEFIT OF EXISTING RAPPORT WITH ISAIAH FORD, CAM PHILLIPS, AND BUCKY HODGES:
"It's nice. I hang out with those guys off the field. I know them pretty well. I know Rod's done the same thing. He's hung out with them off the field. We all have a great relationship together. I have a good relationship with Rod. It's all a family here. We don't think about it like 'Oh, I know him better.' It's all a family feel."
ON HOW OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BRAD CORNELSEN IS DIFFERENT FROM SCOT LOEFFLER IN THE MEETING ROOM:
"I really like Coach Corn. He's a guy you can just sit down and talk with, about ball, about anything. Door is always open his way. He's done a great job helping us. He expects the same out of all us. I really enjoy Coach Corn though, he's a great guy. A little less intense than Lefty, as you can imagine."
ON IF CORNELSEN IS TOUGHER TO READ:
"When he first got here it was really tough. I didn't know if he was mad or if he was happy. I wasn't sure what was going on."
ON IF HE GETS THE SENSE CORNELSEN IS EXCITED TO PLAY "MAD SCIENTIST" WITH SAM ROGERS AND BUCKY HODGES:
"The guys we got out there are amazing, and they've been working their butts off all summer. I'm really excited about what we can do with them. Along with Cam (Philips), and we got some young guys that are really showing me some stuff out there. Then we got our senior leaders on the front line too. I'm really excited about what we got."
ON HOW MUCH BETTER OF A PLAYER HE IS NOW:
"I feel absolutely amazing. I'm in the best shape of my life. I feel incredible. Recovered from my injury, and I feel tip-top shape right now, A1. I feel really good."