Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 13 No. 1 | August 2020

14 Inside Hokie Sports by Jimmy Robertson quarterbacks SEASON PREVIEW 2020 QUARTERBACKS DEPTH CHART (in numerical order) 2 Hendon Hooker (6-4, 228, r-Jr.) 3 Braxton Burmeister (6-1, 210, r-Jr.) 4 Quincy Patterson II (6-4, 245, r-So.) 6 Trevor Jackson (6-3, 187, r-Fr.) 12 Knox Kadum (6-3, 185, r-Fr.) PLAYER TO WATCH Hendon Hooker played extremely well after being inserted into the starting lineup following the fourth game of the 2019 season, and he served as the biggest reason why the Hokies turned around their fall following a 2-2 start, including an 0-2 mark in league play. He started eight games, and Tech went 6-2 in those starts. Hooker completed 99 of 162 pass attempts (61.1%) for 1,555 yards, with 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also rushed for 356 yards and five touchdowns. Despite playing in just 11 games, Hooker ranked 10th in the ACC in total offense (1,911 yards). His completion percentage would have ranked seventh in the league, but Hooker lacked the attempts to qualify. With his quality of play and his willingness to protect the football, he will be the most important member of Tech’s 2020 squad. OTHERS IN THE MIX Quincy Patterson played in seven games in 2019 and carried the Hokies to a 43-41, six-overtime victory against North Carolina after Hooker was injured in the first half of that game. He completed 3 of 6 for 54 yards and a touchdown, but did most of his damage on the ground, rushing for 122 yards on 21 carries and a score. His two-point conversion run in the sixth overtime proved to be the difference in Tech’s victory. Patterson started one game because of Hooker’s injury—a 21-20 loss to Notre Dame. He struggled against a good Irish defense, completing just 9 of 28 for 139 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 77 yards. Braxton Burmeister transferred to Tech from Oregon last summer and sat out the season. He played in 10 games at Oregon, starting four as a true freshman and completing 41 of 69 (59.4%) for 307 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for two scores that season. He completed 5 of 10 in four games as a backup in 2018. Knox Kadum and Trevor Jackson round out the group. Both took redshirt seasons a year ago. Kadum threw for 1,633 yards, with 21 touchdowns and no interceptions his senior season at Rome High School in Rome, Georgia. INTERESTING FACTS • Hooker set a program record with 124 pass attempts without an interception to begin a career. • Hooker accounted for 14 pass plays of more than 30 yards in 2019, including six of 40 yards or more. • Hooker threw at least one touchdown pass in seven of his eight starts, and he rushed for a score in four of his starts. • Hooker threw at least 30 passes in just one game—Tech’s loss to Virginia in the regular-season finale. • Hooker threw for at least 200 yards in just three games—Rhode Island (261), Wake Forest (242) and Virginia (311). • Patterson accounted for five plays of 20 yards or more in 2019 (four pass plays, one rush). 2020 OUTLOOK Tech head coach Justin Fuente rarely names a starter during the early part of fall practice, but Hooker entered August as the overwhelming favorite to win the job. His play last year salvaged Tech’s season, and he brings a terrific combination of talent and experience. Hooker averaged 193 yards passing per game in his eight starts. Had he averaged that over a 13-game season, he would have finished with more than 2,500 yards passing – and entered the top 10 in Tech’s record book. He goes into this season having played in 17 games in his career, so his experience also gives him an edge. Patterson and Burmeister both possess some experience, making the potential battle for the backup job one of intrigue. Patterson probably gets the edge in athleticism and upside, while Burmeister gets the edge in understanding the intricacies of the game. So who takes over in the event of a Hooker absence? Fuente and his staff need to find the answer to this question quickly. The best scenario for a big season for the Hokies: keeping Hooker healthy and helping him become one of the ACC’s best quarterbacks. BOLD PREDICTION Hooker throws for at least 20 touchdown passes and fewer than five interceptions in 2020. Hendon Hooker