From the sidelines
In the last 10 days, the hopes of Virginia Tech fans have gone from the mountain top to the valley.
The one-year pony Jerod Evans, a junior college quarterback that rewrote Hokie record books this past season, announced he would not return for his senior year in Blacksburg.
He follows receivers, Bucky Hodges and Isiah Ford, who also announced they were headed to the National Football League.
The trio made a difference for Justin Fuente in his first season at the helm. I believe the Hokies would have been favored to win it all next season if they returned, well at least Evans. There is enough left, with what is being added, to make him a sure-thing, but just like when Michael Vick disappointed the Hokie faithful, so did Evans.
Yes, he could receive advice to still come back, but dollar signs have Evans looking to the next level.
All three used Twitter to break the news, and I admit, I followed their Twitter feeds over the past few months. Receiver Cam Phillips stunned fans with a Twitter note of his own. He offered some humor in the midst of the other goodbyes.
Phillips sent out a tweet Monday that said: “I have something to say. Today has been an amazing day. I have enjoyed my time back with my family as it was needed. We have put time and thought into this important decision. So I’d like to say I have decided to order pizza tonight instead of Chipotle.”
Thank you Cam for livening up things for during a dark day on the Hokie front.
Yes, sitting in the wings is a great young quarterback in Joshua Jackson. There is also a freshman all-world signal caller, Herndon Hooker, who will be in the mix for Fuente to mold in his own right away.
But the Hokies solution could lie in South Bend, Indiana. Not only did they beat my Notre Dame Irish this season, they might have made an impression on a certain Irish quarterback.
Malik Zaire fell out the starter position for the Fighting Irish earlier in the season but showed a lot of talent. Just before the Belk Bowl, Notre Dame gave Zaire his release. He plans to transfer and will be eligible to play this fall.
At 6-1, 225 pounds, Zaire would be perfect for the maroon and orange. He was never really given a chance at Notre Dame. In three years, he only attempted 98 passes. He is from Kettering, Ohio, and was highly recruited out of high school.
As a senior at Archbishop High School, he earned the state offensive player of the year award with 1,990 yards and 24 touchdowns in the air, adding 1,120 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. He was rated as a four-star recruit and was the third ranked dual-threat QB in the country.
No, Virginia Tech has not come off his lips or any one associated with him. Instead, it has been Wisconsin, North Carolina and Baylor. Sorry to say, Zaire does not fit any of those programs, and Wisconsin and Baylor have returning QBs. The situation at UNC is still up in the air. So, why not look at Blacksburg?
We, especially this Irish fan, would welcome him to Blacksburg.
Last year’s, Evans’ arrival was a complete surprise, and I am wondering if this offseason could bring another one.