Virginia Tech will have a new offensive coordinator next season, but the quarterback will remain the same.
Logan Thomas announced Tuesday afternoon that he will return to Blacksburg for his senior season rather than declare for the NFL draft. Thomas entered the 2012 season as a potential top five pick, according to some draft analysts, but his stock suffered as the Hokies endured their worst season in 20 years.
Still, there was some doubt as to whether he would come back, especially because Coach Frank Beamer is in the process of overhauling his offensive coaching staff. But Thomas, a Lynchburg native who earned his Virginia Tech degree last month, put that all to rest by making his intentions known less than 30 minutes before the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft.
“The NFL has always been a goal of mine, but the NFL will always be there while college is only a five-year experience that you can’t get back,” Thomas said in a statement released by Virginia Tech.
Thomas arrived at Virginia Tech as one of the nation’s top tight end recruits, but he was quickly moved to quarterback during his initial training camp in 2009. He then took over for Tyrod Taylor in 2011 and had a remarkable first year starting under center, earning second-team all-ACC honors and setting several single-season records.
But Thomas struggled at times with a new supporting cast last season, even though he broke his own program record for total offense and became the first quarterback to lead the Hokies in rushing since Bobby Owens in 1965. Thomas finished with 16 interceptions, second most among ACC quarterbacks, and watched his completion percentage fall from 59.8 percent to 51.3 percent.
“I need to be a lot more consistent,” Thomas said Tuesday. “I had a lot of throws get away from me this year.”
Thomas informed Beamer and certain staff members of his decision Monday – “They were happy to have their leader back,” Thomas noted — the same day former Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler interviewed with the Hokies for a second time.
Loeffler is considered the leading candidate to become Virginia Tech’s next offensive coordinator, and he has a track record of mentoring elite signal callers. As an assistant coach at Michigan and Florida, he worked with such future NFL quarterbacks as Tom Brady, John Navarre, Chad Henne and Tim Tebow.
Current offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring is expected to remain on staff next year, but his role is unclear at this point. Quarterbacks coach Mike O’Cain, offensive line coach Curt Newsome and wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman are unlikely to be retained.
Former Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes accompanied Loeffler to Blacksburg on Monday to interview for the same position at Virginia Tech. Stanford assistant Aaron Moorehead also spoke with the Hokies on Monday about becoming the program’s next wide receivers coach, according to an athletic department official.
Sherman is expected to accept a similar position at Purdue and Newsome could rejoin the staff at James Madison, his former employer. O’Cain’s name has been mentioned in conjunction with the head coach opening at Charleston Southern.