Hokies' Glennon Won't Let Himself Fade Away Quietly

Though he's lost the job in two of the three seasons he began as Virginia Tech's starter, quarterback Sean Glennon remains pumped up to play. (John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)
Though he's lost the job in two of the three seasons he began as Virginia Tech's starter, quarterback Sean Glennon remains pumped up to play. (John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post) (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)
  Enlarge Photo     Buy Photo
By Zach Berman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Sean Glennon analyzed what occurred behind him, considered what appeared in front of him and concluded during the days leading up to Virginia Tech's victory over Maryland on Thursday that only unfathomable pain would prevent him from playing against the Terrapins.

Despite a foot masked in tape and tape covered by a brace, Glennon still felt pain creep through his left ankle. Even so, he never doubted that he would be taking the first snap for the Hokies.

"Not in my mind," Glennon said. "The rest of the team's mind, there were some doubts. I'm sure in some of the coaches' minds, there was some doubt. But with how my season has gone, not playing as much as I would have liked, and only a few games left in my college career, there was no way I was going to let a sprained ankle keep me on the sideline."

Quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain said No. 1 quarterback Tyrod Taylor remains a game-time decision for Thursday night's game at Miami. Taylor has been limited in practice and alternated first-team snaps with Glennon, according to O'Cain.

Since arriving at Virginia Tech after a standout career at Westfield High School, Glennon rode the pendulum between huddle and headset. He entered three seasons as a starting quarterback. He lost his job in two of them. With his college days dwindling and harboring NFL aspirations, Glennon demonstrated Thursday he will not let his Virginia Tech book close without adding another unexpected chapter.

He did not win the game for the Hokies. Running back Darren Evans bulldozed through the Terrapins' defense for a school-record 253 yards. But Glennon managed the game as one would expect from a fifth-year senior, completing 70 percent of his passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. He did not throw an interception, although he was sacked three times.

His completion percentage was the best by a Hokies starter this season. Because Taylor provides such a rushing threat, the Hokies' offense has relied on the run since Taylor entered the lineup. Although Thursday's win was aided by Evans's rushing prowess, Glennon viewed his passing as imperative.

"It was real important, because we mixed it up," Glennon said. "Sometimes this year, we've been too one-dimensional."

Glennon found a good night for the performance, too. Fourteen NFL teams sent a total of 18 representatives to scout the game in person. The Thursday night national television audience provided even more attention. Although Glennon did not star, he started, which he hadn't done since the season's second game.

"You can't really think about that because then you start putting pressure on yourself," Glennon said. "I'd love to impress the scouts, because once the bowl game is over, it's my goal to get drafted. There were two or three throws I'd like to have back, but you can't really think to yourself when you drop back to pass, there's 18 NFL scouts watching, there's a ton of a people watching."

Attention now shifts to the Hokies' coaching staff, which must determine the best direction to take the quarterbacks in the final three games of the regular season, a possible ACC championship game, and after winning for the sixth time this season, a bowl appearance.

The progress of Taylor's sprained ankle will be a factor. After Glennon filled in successfully during a Taylor injury last season, Glennon did not leave the lineup. Whether that happens this season remains unclear. But once again, Glennon revived a college career that he will not allow to fade.

"I've always kept the confidence that I can play at a very high level. I just wasn't the right fit, in the coach's mind, for this team," Glennon said. "I'm just trying to make the most of it. I have, at most, five games left in my college career."

© 2008 The Washington Post Company