VA Tech Hokies football News
In this day and age, most teams start games with three—or even four—receivers on the field. In Tech's base offense, only two wide receivers will start: sophomores Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips. However, the Hokies, like most teams, will run multiple offensive sets in which they'll need more than just Ford and Phillips on the field.
Who'll be that third guy?
For starters, how about tight end Bucky Hodges. Tech has a plethora of talented tight ends on the roster, beginning with the dynamic former quarterback. At 6'6", 249 pounds, Hodges has the size of a tight end with the speed and athleticism of a wide receiver. He will play on almost every snap.
Ryan Malleck and Kalvin Cline return, too.
But the Hokies need a third wide receiver to step up if Ford or Phillips goes down. Senior Demitri Knowles is the most obvious candidate. Knowles looked to be heading for a breakthrough campaign last fall after finishing the 2013 season with 641 receiving yards as a sophomore.
Unfortunately for Knowles, Ford and Phillips impressed coaches, and he slid further down the depth chart and saw little action at receiver for much of the season. He has the talent, but does he run precise-enough routes for this offensive coaching staff?
Fellow senior Kevin Asante returns, too. However, he has done little in his Virginia Tech career to date.
Two names to keep an eye on are sophomore Deon Newsome and freshman Jaylen Bradshaw. Newsome was terrific at times last season, both running the football and in the return game. He needs a strong fall camp to show coaches he deserves to be on the field more at receiver. Newsome is an excellent mismatch for the Hokies on offense because of his speed and elusiveness.
He's a young kid, but he has a lot of potential. He's been working his butt off this summer, so he's in better shape and with him being bigger, stronger, faster, there's gonna come a lot more confidence. So I think he gained some confidence this spring just playing football and learning the offense and things of that nature. But I also think that getting bigger, faster and strong this summer is going to boost his confidence, so he's got a bright future.