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Loeffler, Early Playing Time Help Land 4-Star QB

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 10:28am
By: Brian Geisinger

Well, this happened rather quickly. Earlier this year - back in March - Chris Durkin committed to Michigan State. In recent weeks, however, Durkin started to rethink his college choice. After mulling over his options, the appeal of playing early in college drove the pro-style quarterback to decommit from the Spartans, and immediately commit to Virginia Tech.

247Sports.com has Durkin, who plays his prep ball for Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline, rated as a four-star prospect, and the No. 19 pro-style QB in his class.

Michigan State has somewhat of a logjam at quarterback. Sophomore Connor Cook started for them in 2013 (58.4% completion, 20 TDs, only 5 INTs); he likely has two more seasons running the show up in East Lansing. Behind Cook - an entrenched starter - are a host of other promising backups and recruits. The writing was on the wall for Durkin; early playing time will be very hard to come by here.

Now that Logan Thomas is finally leaving Blacksburg, competition for the Virginia Tech starting job is as wide open as any. As Durkin told The Roanoke Times: “The opportunity to play early struck my attention. I just went after it.”

This doesn't mean the job will automatically fall to the 6-4, 240-pound Durkin, though. He joins Andrew Ford - another four-star, pocket-passing QB, who committed to the Hokies in June - in the program's 2014 class. Mike Leal and Brenden Motley should also figure strongly into the quarterbacking mix.

Another apparent major draw for Durkin to VT was offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler. In 2010, Loeffler was the quarterbacks coach at Florida, where he worked with D.J. Durkin - Chris' cousin and now the defensive coordinator for the Gators. He gave Loeffler the heads up about his younger cousin, and the two quickly communicated, which worked perfectly for Tech.

Durkin told Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times: "When we talked, we just clicked. He’s my type of guy. High-energy, very competitive. I see myself in him. And the same way he approaches the game is the same way I approach the game. He wants to win."

Loeffler has also worked with several other now professional quarterbacks - Tim Tebow, Tom Brady and Chad Henne - which also appealed to Durkin.

After only a few weeks of talking with Loeffler, Durkin's mind was made up, telling HokieHaven.com: "He swayed my decision and he told me a lot of great things about it. I pulled up pictures of the campus, of the stadium. I watched videos on YouTube of game day atmosphere. It just clicked with me."

Over this past summer, Durkin competed in the Elite 11 regional workout in Columbus, Ohio, and the future Hokie signal caller shined at the event, too. According to JC Shurburtt - director of recruiting for 247Sports.com, two things seperate Durkin from the pack: "His intense focus and his size."

Shurburtt continued, "Durkin also can throw it quite well (strong arm, accurate) and has good footwork."

For highlights of Durkin showing off his arm and mobility, check here, you guys.