Outside of who punts the ball this year, the first week of Virginia Tech football’s preseason training camp has been defined by how little competition there is for the Hokies’ starting lineup. Talk from position coaches and coordinators has largely revolved around who will back up a first team that that was already determined coming out of spring practice.
Among those reserves, the battle to be No. 2 quarterback behind redshirt sophomore Logan Thomas seems to loom most prominently. And according to Virginia Tech’s injury report ahead of the team’s first public scrimmage Saturday, two of the prominent contenders are nursing an injury.
Washington native Ricardo Young (H.D. Woodson High) appears to be the more serious of the two. He has been ruled out for Saturday with a groin injury, a significant setback considering he missed most of spring practice with an injured foot.
Both Young and redshirt freshman Mark Leal, the favorite to win the backup quarterback job after a strong spring, missed Wednesday’s 30 -play mini-scrimmage. Leal is listed as probable on the injury report.
For Young, though, it could spell the end of his pursuit for the No. 2 spot, especially if Leal performs well Saturday. Quarterbacks Coach Mike O’Cain was intrigued with how Young played through the first few days of camp, but he needs to show he can stay on the field to pass Leal or redshirt junior JuJu Clayton.
Also noteworthy was a report from Frank Beamer’s official Web site indicating Thomas is nursing a hamstring injury. Thomas, however, was not listed on the injury report, and a Virginia Tech official confirmed that he was practicing Thursday.
Right tackle Blake DeChristopher (pectoral), wide receiver D.J. Coles and left tackle Mark Shuman have also been ruled out for Saturday. In addition to Leal, left guard Greg Nosal (shoulder), cornerback Jayron Hosley (leg), linebacker Tariq Edwards (hamstring) and defensive tackle Kris Harley (oblique) were all listed as probable.
The scrimmage is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at Lane Stadium (with stretching and warmup beginning at 4). It’s free and open to the public, but the school asks that fans sit in the west side stands only.