ACC Media Days bring the brightest spotlight to all the teams and speakers in the ACC. It brings the most pressure on those in front of the podium. For Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Braxton Burmeister, the spotlight will be brighter this 2021 College Football season.
This 2021 season will be the biggest season for Burmeister as a collegiate quarterback as he becomes the full-time starting quarterback for the Hokies. Head coach Justin Fuente made it clear that would be no quarterback competition heading into the 2021 season. He also praised Burmeister for the impressive development he has progressed both physically and mentally in the offseason. The road for Burmeister becoming the starting quarterback for Virginia Tech has been long and difficult.
Journey from Oregon to Virginia Tech this past season
Since arriving at Oregon as a four-star recruit in 2017, several fans and media outlets projected Burmeister to be one of the leading star players for the Ducks. Burmeister played seven games while starting in five games for the Ducks as Justin Hebert suffered an injury during the season. Burmeister threw for 330 yards, two touchdowns, and six interceptions on 44 completions (out of 77 passing attempts). He also rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns on 64 carries as a dual-threat quarterback. The Ducks were 1-4 as Burmeister as the starting quarterback. Three of the four teams that defeated Oregon were ranked at the time.
The following season, Burmeister could not beat out Hebert as the starting quarterback for the Ducks. Hebert would become the team captain in his sophomore season. He would eventually lead Oregon to a Pac-12 conference title and a Rose Bowl win in his senior year. Burmeister would go into the NCAA Transfer Portal in 2019, where he would eventually enroll at Virginia Tech.
Burmeister played his first season this past year for the Hokies after having to redshirt in 2019 due to NCAA Transfer rules. Burmeister started four games for the Hokies, where he was 3-1. He was battling fellow Hokies quarterback Hendon Hooker throughout the entire season. Burmeister started the first three games against the season versus NC State, at Duke, and at North Carolina before being benched for Hooker, who was more efficient in the short-to-mid-range passing game.
Burmeister played multiple reps and drives throughout the rest of the season until the season-ending game against the Virginia Cavaliers. Burmeister had his best game of the season versus the Cavaliers as he threw for 212 yards and a touchdown on 15 completions (out of 22 passing attempts). This past season, Burmeister threw for 687 yards, two touchdowns, and only one interception on 48 completions (out of 85 passing attempts) for a completion percentage of 56.5%. He also rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns on 47 carries.
Burmeister’s crucial development this offseason
This season, Burmeister will be asked to provide more support and consistency for the Hokies offense. The Hokies lost their leading rusher in running back Khalil Hebert and Hooker transferred to the University of Tennessee. More importantly, the Hokies want a more balanced offense in their efficient rushing game and a more aggressive passing game.
Burmeister is a quarterback that can make great reads on coverage schemes and make the needed deep throws to his receivers. He has the arm strength and the reading ability to make big plays happen. One of the more concerning issues is his consistency to complete the short-to-mid-range passes. He needs to be more efficient in driving the ball down the field with his accuracy and not force the plays to happen.
He has the great athleticism to beat the defense in running plays and quarterback options. This offseason, Burmeister has worked on making more efficient throws while out of the quarterback pocket. He has also worked with several receivers trying to develop himself in the quarterback pocket. This offseason has been crucial for him to develop his body by being faster, more durable, and stronger. Burmeister was clocked running at 22.53 miles per hour in workouts. There is a clear difference in body composition from last season to this season, especially for him measuring in at 6-1.
Coach Fuente has praised Burmeister’s development this offseason as an elite, both mentally and physically. He and the redshirt junior feel confident as the sole quarterback going into a new season without the distractions of COVID-19 affecting the season.
With several weeks left until the start of the season, Burmeister will present the development that he has been doing this offseason. Burmeister has not given up in his collegiate career. He is not going to quit now that he has a chance to put the Hokies put in ACC Conference title contention and national spotlight.