Virginia Tech QB Grant Wells has an extra incentive to play at Marshall

Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Grant Wells (6) Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Grant Wells (6) Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Grant Wells or Kyron Drones? For the second consecutive week, that’s the question surrounding the Virginia Tech football team. Late in the first half of Week 2’s 24-17 loss to Purdue at Lane Stadium, Wells was hit and suffered an ankle injury. He played the whole second half, but coach Brent Pry despite staying with his senior in the second half until the final drive when he inserted Drones.

The sophomore led the Hokies down the field from their own 9-yard line to Boliermakers’ territory, but the drive stalled just past midfield with four straight incompletions. Last week at Rutgers, Drones got the start in the Virginia Tech loss and once again heading into this week’s non-conference game at Marshall, Pry has yet to name his starter. This week, Wells has an extra incentive to return under center.

Grant Wells’s college career began at Marshall

Wells began his college career with the Thundering Hurd and was their quarterback for two years, 2020 and 2021. In the COVID-19 2020 campaign, he threw for 2,091 yards in 10 games, which included the Camellia Bowl on Christmas Day against Buffalo. In Marshall’s 20-13 loss, he was 13-for-20 for 114 yards. That season, he was the Conference USA freshman of the year, becoming the first rookie to be selected to the first team.

In 2021, he threw for 3,535 yards and closed out the season with a 36-21 loss to Louisana in the New Orleans Bowl. Wells had a game he’d rather forget, going 15-for-26 and just 99 yards. After that season, he transferred to Blacksburg with the Hokies.

Returning to Huntington, West Virginia is certainly going to bring back some memories for Wells and you can understand why he would want to play through his injury. He was limited in practice this week.

So here we are. Pry is facing another decision as to who his quarterback will be on the road in a sold-out stadium against a team that would love nothing more than to knock off the Hokies, drop them to 1-3, and remain undefeated.

Unseatting Drones in place of Wells is not an easy decision for Pry. The Baylor transfer played well on the road last week and threw for 190 yards and rushed for 74 against the Scarlet Knights. The only way he can play Wells this week is if he’s healthy and he gives Virginia Tech the best chance to win. To make matters worse freshman quarterback Pop Watson is suspended indefinitely for violating team rules, which makes the QB depth less on the road. Not ideal.

Of course, Wells is going to do everything he can to be on the field and he has every incentive to be on there, but is he? If the decision was up to him, he would be, but the decision lies in the hands of Pry and if he makes the wrong one, it won’t sit well with the Virginia Tech fanbase.

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