Interview: Justin Fuente (7-19-18)

Wes McElroy
Thursday, July 19th
Virginia Tech Hokies Head Coach Justin Fuente joins Wes at ACC Media Days to talk about the tough offseason for his team, his conversation with Adonis Alexander, what happened with Josh Jackson and what he expects from his quarterback and team in 2018.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Getting you ready for their start of that college football season. You out there. Wanted to save enough. My from ACC media digs brought to you by cal when gates beats west tackle Roy on fox sports nine check. From the ACC pick golf on this Thursday morning brought by telling me its eleven attorneys on staff and day for you in any case. We'll keep football this year militant bottom Cali gates John laser Mike Barnett and throughout Greta it'll be good to be back with the guys on the team as well. And Justin Fuente back for his third year as the paid coach Virginia Tech. Looking rested and relaxed this this might be a better question for your wife. But how is made just twenty different than August September and just today. I think it's quite a bit different. I think she would she would vouch for informing on that deal. You know when he gets around this time in your approach in August it's just under. Time to get rid Iraq of Rome and they get a chance. No I love spring practice and our searchers are no games and reduced teaching football. I enjoy that part of it and then they may get little relaxation time but this time years' time to get locked and loaded renewal. I'd let's get payroll here that you probably need on line a little bit this summer after the offseason. Some decisions were made him well documented some departures dismissals. You're still relatively young in your head coaching career. Is challenging a fair word to use this about the past few months well certain. Heather if you are are sure of things to deal with. And we've got to own up to those things in and learn firmament and move forward and some of whom have been. Don't disappointing him. But I like the way that everybody's handled those things in terms of where team has responded we're coaching staff has responded. Where administration has been supportive. And you know what we're moving towards I think there's there's lessons to be learned and all of these things we talk about them. In house very openly and and discuss them and talk about. Decisions that that people have made and in turn and in turn decisions that I made. And why in the reasons form and and hopefully we can learn from on the move forward. Talking to Mike burn up yesterday and it was an interesting note that he said about the conversation that Adonis Alexander had with you before he was dismissed very. You knew he knew he just got into a hole to really with academics and Mike told me that he told you use me as an example. Oh yeah I actually did I mean. I really feel for Dawson Dawson wanted to come back at Dawson made incredible strides. Socially academically. You know in the last couple years and I've seen these young men grow grow and grow. Through the years and it's always been perfect but he's made strides in the right direction he wanted to come back. This year he wanted structure he knew he needed if you wanted to or another year of us telling him what to do and I'm going to do it. And he was making improvement he just did that himself such a huge hole could not climb out of and you know when we sat down and talked about it you know he says he usually does the guy said coach first of all thank you think for not giving up only thing pertaining. To stay after me thank you for not ever putting up with. As he put it my BS you know and I've I'm learning I'm getting better but please use. He's an example you mean for example the fresh from his amazing example of with your current team. Of what can happen if you if you continue to put off. Taking care of business I thought that was a moment of growth for adults you know I've we have a very good relationship I want him that nothing but the best. In DC and he said he'd made improvements just not made him out enough and that it took to the hole. He's just appointed head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies who is on fox sports night and so under on the post game in spring football and I'm listening in for the breaks and you have Mike Byrne of the talking. And I heard you say this and I I wrote down in the moment. This might be the most important summer of any team that I ever coached. I've known you are the best field we have you're not a guy to throw around superlatives where does that come from. Well I just felt like he hit a lot of improvement to make I mean I think. When I when I watch us in the spring. I just you know from the first day of practice the last day of practice we took strides in the right direction we have numerous guys out. I thought through the summer. Academically is incredibly important. Thought. From hell stay important it was important from a development standpoint it was to be really really important that. That we really buckle down. And those kids have responded to that challenge you know we talked a little bit as a team in the spring about. Whether we were accountable group and I questioned that from them right there early in spring. I question the fact of whether they were challenged a group like it issued a challenge them see them respond and and you'll take it and that's I've seen them grow through that. And part of that was a challenge for them to have a great. A great summer and all lawyers and their lives and in your process of doing. Josh Jackson's status never officially changed with the team. Could you clear up what did or did not happen there well I'll say this job. That's a situation that that that should have really never been public it was unfortunate that it was. You know Josh is handling the situation he's handled it and everything to find his new status of those who never changed per day. It's. It's cleared up and camera movement forward in and he's doing. Gave no thing narrowed down like everybody wrote down the BC seduce the press got its after the spring game. You wanted Josh to fall more in love with the process you played quarterbacks who can you elaborate one quarterback to another what did you mean by that well I just think. First all intellectually Josh has tremendous capabilities these highly intelligent. Them and he can just process information doesn't forget information. I need to process it real time and communicate that and I just. I believe when you have guys like that. They can always continue to take leaps and bounds forward. By continuing to invest more time in their mental development that it's it's much more than just knowing what the players are doing. You know that I think too much is made of battle all the guys know what plays or you know what they're supposed to do but. There's another level of understanding I think he's capable of reaching because of his intellectual boundaries are are so great. That's. I'd like for him to fall more in love with the challenge of improving. And and I I think he's in the process of doing that he's he's a listener he understood what I was talking about we met one on one about it as well. And he's in the process of making those rights. Just Puente west mackerel or fox sports 910. This team is young. And I know we spent so much down to a month quarterback there's other places there's other young places you foresee yourself you can spend a little bit more time with one unit where the other. I don't know we'll see. Our goes you know the new practice rules are different we have less practice time and we've ever had. We keep the finer way to change that every year but but that's all right I'm. I'm just looking forward to do to get with the guys and I'm really excited feels like the first year. No yeah we inherited such an older group in a mature group the first two years. That we are here. That an hour we don't have very many seniors you know those classes are very Gator junior and senior class we're going to have a junior linebacker on the roster. You know so. But they're anxious in that they've got some talent and her and rated due to go to work so. All I feel rejuvenated and excited to go to go to work with these guys and not feel like this is what I was brought here. For now that it took to go. Start to put this thing together you are recruiting classes and through. Our development program and I'm anxious to go to go do that so I don't know what what. Position or where will need the most work I'm excited about the future and all over spots. But more than anything I'm just excited group of guys. Haven't two young team and in certain guys in new position and may and freshman. How much thought have you given to the new red shirt rule where a guy can put up to four games keep his redshirt because I guess there's two philosophies. Let a guy get into the water early on or maybe mature guy instinct for closer to the end of the year. Well I've thought about it a lot I've had I've read a lot of what some other coaches across the country are saying and their media days. I've talked to a few coaches across country about their thoughts. I think it's a great rule first of all second of all I'm not sure how it's gonna work out. You know I I don't know that you can go into your fall camp and say we're gonna do this with this guy in this with this guy's something works that way I think. You're gonna have to see what you look like heading into the first game from the depth standpoint from a development standpoint. And you're gonna have to play it by here know what's kind of neat about it is gonna cause more. Conversation on a weekly basis you're used to be very simple and our place and our own house a coach we had a meeting and said okay. These these eight guys play and no matter what you know their workers to go there race to go dormant game. These these four guys under no circumstances. Do they play and can't put their moment. And these these three guys. You have to ask my permission in the middle game before a tournament you know like and that was just how we operated now it's it's a little bit different deal I think it's because. It's it's kind of neat it's more strategy and and more conversation about how to turn years old. Get ready get to work that opener on Labor Day Monday against Florida State nice this deviant Tallahassee I imagine you could have a guys more outside. And indoor practice facility get their news that heat humidity as much as possible for that Monday night week. Trying everything possible simulator because it does not get very humid in Blacksburg but. We've we've got some tricks up our sleeves for fall camp I am we've done some things in the summer to try and simulate the best we can't get our guys. Guys ready and we might as well jump then I mean we're going jumper with a big game rough the rough that was some young guys and the other respond. Coach look forward to it thanks for your time is always appreciate it doesn't quite take joining us. From the ACC kick off proxy by count gates thanks coach you bet thank you right back or fox what's not senator radio dot com backed.