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To recap Signing Day, the Hokies lost 4* wide receiver Javon Harrison to Florida State but gained 4* wide receiver Isaiah Ford, who was a Louisville commit for most of the fall. Honestly, I think Virginia Tech upgraded at the position and brought in a more reliable target in Ford.
Harrison is the type of receiving prospect that’s going to be boom or bust. He’s one of the top receivers in Florida, in my humble opinion, but he has a little bit of baggage. Plus, he has a maturation process he really needs to go through. Recruits like him are extremely boom or bust. They either grow up and become playmakers or they become poor teammates and leave the team in 2 years over “playing time disputes.”
Ford strikes me as a recruit who knew what he was looking for in a school and found that at Louisville, initially. After Charlie Strong left for Texas, Ford decommitted and took the necessary visits to figure out where he was going to attend college. Even though he flirted with staying committed to Louisville, he wound up at Virginia Tech.
Ford is being dubbed as a two-sport athlete and initially, I would love to see him try it. However, the basketball season and football season overlap so much in college that it will be tough for Ford to devote much time to basketball. If Virginia Tech goes to a bowl game in January, he’ll enter the season nearly 12-14 games into it without any sort of preseason. That will be tough.
Ford is a solid athlete as we’ll discus below and I think the Hokies may have received one of the best benefits of a crazy coaching carousel this off-season.
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Virginia Tech is going to need at least two freshmen wide receivers to step onto campus and become instant playmakers. Are there any in this class that can do so? It’s a little too early to tell but I think Ford may be the most ready physically to step in and provide some assistance.
Tech’s wide receiving corps played well down the stretch but they’re just not a talented group. Overall, they would rank near the bottom in the ACC, a league that doesn’t necessarily have a ton of great wide receivers to begin with. So, talent is desperately needed here and thankfully, the Hokies are bringing in upwards of five players who can help.
Ford is cat-quick and explosive off the line of scrimmage. His 0-60 speed is unmatched and I would honestly love to see him do an NFL cone drill to test his agility and acceleration. I think he may be the quickest player we’ll have at receiver next year and yes I’m including Willie Byrn and Demitri Knowles, who are both fast in their own right.
Overall, Ford is going to provide a deep threat on the outside that the Hokies haven’t had in quite some time. He’s dynamic and incredibly athletic. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited to see what a wide receiver prospect can do here in Scot Loeffler’s offense.
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