The season is still young, but Quarterback Jerod Evans is putting up some impressive numbers for the Virginia Tech Hokies this season. As a matter of fact, he is 4th in the nation in passing efficiency. However, his success in Coach Justin Fuente's offense has a lot to do with the improved play of the Hokie's young wide recievers.
Last year, the only wide recievers to catch a pass not named Isiah Ford or Cam Phillips were Dimitri Knowles and Kevin Asante. Asante and Knowles combined for 2 catches for 20 yards last season. Because of this lack of production, wide receiver depth was a major concern entering the season. The worry over this lack of depth was that it would put too much pressure on Isiah Ford and Cam Phillips to remain productive in a fast paced offense and remain healthy for an entire season.
So far in this early season, the young wide receivers have responded in a big way. Through the first 4 games this season, five Virginia Tech receivers not named Isiah Ford or Cam Phillips have caught a pass compared to just 2 last season. The combined production of C.J. Carroll, Jaylen Bradshaw, Devin Wilson, Henri Murphy, and Divine Deablo have led to 11 catches for 106 yards for the Virginia Tech Hokies.
The production from backup wide receivers is over 5 times greater than last season and it is helping out the offense in a number of ways. In the fast paced offense that Coach Justin Fuente is implementing, it is important to spread the ball around. With these young receivers stepping up, it makes it that much harder for teams to just key in on Isiah Ford and Cam Phillips. The production of backup wide receivers also makes it easier for Jerod Evans to have efficient passing days because of several guys earning trust and making plays early this season. It is also great for developing a pipeline of talent so that Virginia Tech football can have continued success in the Fuente Era. When Josh Jackson is eventually asked to run the show at quarterback, he will have plenty of experienced receivers ready to make plays for a young quarterback.
The plays that these young receivers have made are slowing turning what was considered a weakness entering the season into a strength. The Virginia Tech Hokies are 3-1 this season and have a chance to win the ACC Coastal division with several important conference games coming up on the schedule. If Virginia Tech wants to accomplish their goals this season and win the division, these young receivers need to keep making plays.