BLACKSBURG — New Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry coordinated a rare feat on Thursday night by landing multiple verbal commits at the quarterback position.
South Carolina grad transfer Jason Brown and Marshall transfer Grant Wells tweeted out their decisions at 6 p.m. on the dot, and the identical timing wasn’t an accident.
Pry gave Brown the green light to make his decision public on Thursday morning — Brown told The Roanoke Times on Thursday he had been committed for about a week — and also gave him the news that the team had landed a commitment from Wells.
Brown knew from the start of the recruiting process that Virginia Tech was looking to add multiple quarterbacks going into the spring after losing Braxton Burmeister and Knox Kadum to the transfer portal.
The former St. Francis quarterback had no issue with Virginia Tech’s plan coming off a stint at South Carolina where he closed out the regular season as starter after opening the year at No. 3 on the depth chart.
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“We ended up playing four quarterbacks,” Brown said, of South Carolina. “I know how important depth is at the quarterback position. It's not like receiver where you have so many on the team. I know the quarterback spot is limited and there's going to be a lot of competition in there."
He threw for 721 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He played in seven games and was 2-2 as a starter. Those wins came against Florida (as 20-point underdogs) and Auburn to clinch a bowl berth.
He transferred to South Carolina after St. Francis cancelled its 2020 season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He set single-season records at the school as a redshirt sophomore in 2019 with 3,084 passing yards and 28 passing touchdowns.
While Tech hasn’t officially announced an offensive coordinator, Brown spoke with new quarterbacks and pass game coordinator coach Brad Glenn about what Tech’s new offense will look like. He was tight-lipped about the details he received other than to say he expects it will be an open competition in the spring.
That competition will also include Wells, Connor Blumrick, who told reporters after the Pinstripe Bowl he planned on returning, Tahj Bullock and incoming 2022 signee Devin Ferrell.
Brown, a Fredericksburg native who attended Chancellor High School, plans on enrolling as soon as his application clears admissions to participate in spring camp and will have one year of eligibility left as a grad transfer.
“I'm excited to see where this takes us,” Brown said.
Wells was a two-year starter at Marshall where he put up 3,532 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last fall for a Thunder Herd passing offense that ranked No. 18 in the country (out of 130 FBS teams).
He ranked second in Conference USA behind Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe with 271.9 yards per game and a 66.4 completion percentage.
Wells burst onto the scene in 2020 as Conference USA’s freshman of the year. He was selected by the league’s coaches as the all-conference first team quarterback and followed that up with an all-conference honorable mention last fall.
He went 14-9 in 23 games as the team’s starter.
The West Virginia native will have three years of eligibility left and be immediately eligible thanks to the NCAA’s one-time transfer rule. He was a three-star ranked quarterback coming out of George Washington High School with offers from Marshall and Charlotte.
Wells told The Roanoke Times on Thursday night he will also enroll early and go through spring camp with the team.