BLACKSBURG, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- A few months ago, Hendon Hooker's name was in the transfer portal. But after ultimately deciding to return to Virginia Tech, the redshirt sophomore is now pushing for the Hokies' starting quarterback job.
Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente wasn't ready to name a starting quarterback when he talked to reporters on Thursday afternoon. But Fuente did say that Hooker and incumbent starter Ryan Willis have been getting most of the snaps with the first team in practice.
"I've been really impressed by Hendon and the work he put in this summer. He continues to improve," Fuente said. "Ryan's had a good camp as well. So we'll continue to look at it and get through the last scrimmage, and see where we're at."
Hooker didn't attempt a pass in six game appearances last season. He did run for 57 yards on four carries, including a 69-yard touchdown run against William & Mary in his college debut.
Now he's competing with Willis, a fifth-year senior who started Tech's last 10 games last year after Josh Jackson -- who has since transferred to Maryland -- was lost for the season. Willis threw for 2,716 yards and 24 touchdowns, with nine interceptions, and completed 58.5 percent of his passes.
"I've kind of matured and grown up as a quarterback," Willis said on Thursday. "The way I looked at things my freshman and sophomore year of football, I don't look at football the same way. I don't come up to the line of scrimmage and look at the secondary the same way. I've just kind of matured and grown up, and that's kind of the process of college football."