BLACKSBURG – Junior quarterback Logan Thomas is coming back to Virginia Tech for his senior season.
Thomas announced his decision Tuesday afternoon during a phone interview on ESPN’s College Football Live.
“I will be staying at Virginia Tech, returning for my senior year,” Thomas told ESPN. “I figured I had a lot to work on. I think we can get better. Leaving the program 7-6, especially a program like Virginia Tech, which we have a legacy of winning a lot of games and ACC championships, kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. I want to come back and have a better season this year.”
Tuesday at 4 p.m. was the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft. Thomas made his appearance on ESPN about 15 minutes before that. He said he informed Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and assistants Bryan Stinespring and Shane Beamer of his decision on Monday.
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Lynchburg native joins fellow juniors cornerback Antone Exum, the former Deep Run High School star, and defensive end James Gayle in announcing his intention to return for another year at Tech.
This season, Thomas quarterbacked the Hokies to a 7-6 record, with wins in the final three games, including a 13-10 overtime victory over Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Thomas threw for 2,976 yards and 18 touchdowns while completing 51.3 percent of his passes. Those numbers were all down from 2011, when he threw for 3,013 yards, 19 scores and connected on 59.8 percent of his throws.
This season, Thomas’ interceptions jumped from 10 in 2011 to 16.
Thomas was blunt with his own self-assessment when asked about the draft before the Hokies’ bowl game.
“More time to be able to play some more games isn’t always a bad thing,” Thomas said in December. “I don’t think I could go in and start an NFL games right now and be fine and come out with a win, so I think I need some work to be done, but that comes with practice.”
Thomas is third all-time at Virginia Tech in career passing yards with 6,096 and fifth with 37 career touchdown passes. He’s third in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 20.
Thomas’ decision to return is a major boost for the Hokies, who have a favorable Atlantic Coast Conference schedule next season that doesn’t include league powers Florida State or Clemson.
Tech is in the process of hiring new offensive coaching assistants and the team didn’t have much experience behind Thomas.
Tech returns backup Mark Leal, a 6-foot-1, redshirt sophomore who has thrown all of 19 passes in five games over the last two seasons.
After that, Tech doesn’t have any players on the roster with game experience. It does have a pair of young guns in freshman Brenden Motley, who redshirted this year, and incoming freshman Bucky Hodges.