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August 15, 2011

Thomas assumes the helm for the Hokies

By: Jimmy Robertson

As if Logan Thomas didn’t have enough to worry about in replacing the all-time winningest quarterback in Virginia Tech history, he also faces the inevitable comparisons to a guy who recently won a Heisman Trophy and a national championship.

Mostly because of his size and running ability, Thomas gets compared to former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who led the Tigers to the national title last January and who won the Heisman Trophy. As the 2011 season approaches, he hopes his season follows a similar path as Newton’s 2010 campaign.

“I take it as a blessing,” Thomas said of the comparison. “He’s doing what he wants to do. He was the No. 1 pick in the draft, won the national championship, won the Heisman, and he’s the type of player I want to be. That’s a dream and a goal. My dream is the national championship. I don’t care about the Heisman. Of course, you want it, but it’s a team game. It’s not an individual game, and I want to be known as a person who led his team to victory.”

Thomas takes over for Tyrod Taylor, who won 34 games in his four-year career. Thomas played in seven games as a backup last season, completing 12-of-26 for 107 yards. His best moment came in the Miami game when, with Taylor shaken up and having to come out for a play, he completed a 24-yard pass on a third-and-16 play. Tech later scored on the drive and went on to win, but Thomas wants to be remembered for more.

“That’s not what I want my career to be defined as whatsoever,” he said. “It was a great first play to put me on the scene, but I’m ready to make a name for myself in another respect other than that.”

Ju-Ju Clayton and Mark Leal serve as the top backups to Thomas. Leal continues to push the more experienced Clayton for the job, but clearly Tech’s success in 2011 hinges on Thomas.

“It’s an opportunity, and I’m blessed to have this opportunity,” Thomas said. “God has put me in this situation that he wants me in to use me, and I’m pretty excited for my time to come. Hopefully the season will go well.”



3 Logan Thomas (6-6, 254, r-Soph.)

12 Ju-Ju Clayton (6-1, 225, r-Jr.)

6 Mark Leal (6-0, 209, r-Fr.)

16 Trey Gresh (6-1, 205, r-Fr.)

5 Ricardo Young (6-0, 178, r-Fr.)


Returning starters: none

Starters lost: Tyrod Taylor (42 career starts)

Projected new starter: Logan Thomas

Top reserves: Ju-Ju Clayton, Mark Leal

Newcomers: Leal, Trey Gresh, Ricardo Young

Breakout candidate: Thomas

Notes: Thomas was named the Hokies’ top offensive performer coming out of spring practice … Clayton played in five games behind Taylor in 2009, but did not play a snap during the 2010 season … Young missed nearly all of spring practice with a foot injury, but should be 100 percent for this season.