Virginia Tech’s athletic website reported Saturday that coach Frank Beamer opted to go with Brewer, who came to Blacksburg as a graduate transfer after completing his degree in personal financial planning at Texas Tech this spring.
“Both of the guys gave great effort and played very well in preseason, making it a difficult choice,” Beamer said in the release. “It was a very close race and we’re proud of both of them.”
Sophomore Brenden Motley was No. 1 on the depth chart coming out of spring practice, but fell behind because of a back injury.
Brewer played in 13 games for the Red Raiders in 2012-13, completing 70.7 percent of his passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns in limited action.
His most extensive playing time came in a 44-6 win over FCS Northwestern State in 2012, when he was 10-for-13 for 122 yards and two scores in relief of Seth Doege.
Leal played in two games for the Hokies last season, going 14-for-28 for 153 yards with two interceptions. In three seasons, Leal has played in six games and has completed 57.4 percent of his throws for 332 yards, two touchdowns and two picks.
Virginia Tech is coming off an 8-5 campaign in 2013 that included a 42-12 pasting at the hands of UCLA in the Sun Bowl and is replacing Logan Thomas, who started for the last three seasons at quarterback.
The Hokies are unranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls entering the season. They open on Aug. 30 at home against FCS William & Mary.