Willis officially named Hokies' starting quarterback

BLACKSBURG, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Ryan Willis ended last season as Virginia Tech's starting quarterback. When the Hokies open this season at Boston College, Willis will once again be leading the offense.

Head coach Justin Fuente officially named Willis as Tech's starting quarterback on Thursday afternoon. The fifth-year senior had spent the summer competing in camp with redshirt sophomore Hendon Hooker, who will begin the year as Willis' backup.

Fuente said Willis made the most of that preseason competition.

"My obligation is to play the best players. So if that's at corner or quarterback, you have to go compete for your opportunity," Fuente said. "You don't get to rest on your laurels, at any position. Continue to work. It's an every day, every week event for us, at every position."

Willis took over as Tech's starting quarterback after Josh Jackson -- who has since transferred to Maryland -- was lost for the season with a leg injury in the loss at Old Dominion. Willis started the Hokies' final 10 games, throwing for 2,716 yards and 24 touchdowns, with nine interceptions.

Fuente said Willis has shown improvement in the nuances of ball location and anticipation when throwing into tight spots this summer.

"But it is hard to really get a handle on that until you're in the middle of the game," Fuente said. "We try our best to simulate everything we can and create pressure at all positions throughout practice, but there's no substitute for, the best evaluator is playing."