Pry taps Wells as Hokies’ starter against ODU
By MIKE WILLIAMS
Charleston, W.Va. native Grant Wells has been named the starting quarterback for Virginia Tech in its Sept. 2 opener at Old Dominion.
Head Coach Brent Pry made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.
The quarterback competition came down to two, with South Carolina transfer Jason Brown and Wells competing for the top job at the end.
“I met with Grant and Jason today and let them both know that Grant will be the starting quarterback,” Pry told the media Wednesday.
“Jason made it difficult,” Pry added. “He had a great summer and really good camp. I’m proud of the way he competed.
“We feel very fortunate to have a No. 1 like Grant. He’s had an exceptional camp – very accurate, great ball placement, great decision making.
“Then to have a guy like Jason on the ready when we need him … he makes plays, big body, really was much better throwing this camp.
“But we’re moving forward and Grant’s our guy,” Pry said.
The first-year head coach, responding to a question, said Wells had elevated his play during camp.
“Grant has been exceptional. He puts in the extra, he’s very coachable and is a student of the game. He’s getting better and better all the time. We’re very impressed with the ball he throws – it makes it hard on the defense,” Pry said.
He noted both quarterbacks had demonstrated leadership qualities and had earned the respect of the entire team.
“Our guys feel good about either of them taking the field and giving us a chance to win the football game,” Pry added.
A red-shirt junior, Wells transferred to Virginia Tech after two seasons at Marshall where he completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 5,626 yards and 34 touchdowns. In 2020, as a freshman, he became the first freshman to earn first-team All-Conference USA honors.
Pry said the Hokies are “focused on us right now,” but would begin preparation for ODU on Tuesday.
He said some of the graduate assistants and analysts have taken on some projects related to the Monarchs as well as Tech’s other opponents through the first half of the season, and they’re finishing those up.
Pry said the Hokies will hold a full scrimmage on Saturday that would be mostly situational, but some portion would be live.
“We might pull back on some of the guys that are more proven and get those depth guys in and get them some substantial reps,” Pry said of the scrimmage.
As for Wednesday’s practice, Pry praised his team.
“Practice 13 … the guys are competing and battling every day,” he said. “That gives us a chance to get better each practice. When they bring their hard hat … they compete with one another … they want to win the period … want to win the drill. There’s a lot of that going on right now,” Pry said.
“We’re right in the thick of this thing. There’s a lot of adversity going on. Execution errors … pushing through things … depth chart battles … injuries to overcome … there’s a lot happening.
“It’s what it needs to be. Camp is supposed to be hard and we’re having a trying camp. Which is necessary for where we want to go,” Pry said.