“He’s had an exceptional camp,” Pry said of Wells (6 feet 2, 208 pounds) on Wednesday afternoon after practice. “Very accurate, great ball placement, great decision-making. Moving forward Grant’s our guy.”
Wells is set to make his debut with the Hokies on Sept. 2 on the road against Old Dominion after starting for two seasons for the Thundering Herd. The redshirt junior threw for 5,623 yards and 34 touchdowns with 23 interceptions at Marshall, where he was first-team all-Conference USA as a freshman in 2020.
Beamerball is gone. Brent Pry is Va. Tech’s second chance at redemption.
The 2020 Conference USA freshman of the year had moved ahead of Brown for the starting job by the end of spring practice. In the spring game finale, Wells completed 11 of 21 passes for 178 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
“Grant was a little bit ahead in all aspects of just overall command of the offense, understanding the offense,” Hokies quarterbacks coach Brad Glenn said. “Quick, intermediate and deep-ball accuracy. He was just ahead of [Brown] in all of those.”
Wells and Brown — as well as Connor Blumrick, Tahj Bullock and Devin Farrell — were in the mix when the quarterback competition commenced in the spring. Wells and Brown separated themselves midway through spring practice, and Blumrick, who played the position last year, moved to tight end.
Brown gained some ground during summer workouts, but Wells’s arm strength and accuracy locked up the starting job, with Glenn calling him perhaps the most accurate passer he has coached during his career.
The decision punctuates a journey that brought Wells to the school where his father graduated and just down the road from his mother’s alma mater, Radford.
“I felt comfortable coming out of the spring in this offense,” Wells said. “We worked a lot over the summer with verbiage and signals and all that. In the spring it was a new offense, but I don’t think anyone looks at it as a new offense. It’s our offense.”
Wells is in line to be the sixth opening-week starter over the past eight years at Virginia Tech, which parted ways with coach Justin Fuente last year with two games left in the regular season. Fuente had recruited Wells before he elected to attend Marshall.
Pry and his staff targeted Wells almost immediately when he announced he would be entering the transfer portal in January. Wells initially had Notre Dame and Arizona State, among other schools, on his early list of potential landing spots.
“He’s very coachable, a great student of the game,” Pry said. “He’s getting better and better all the time. I’m just so impressed with the ball he throws. It makes it tough on the defense.”