Isaiah Ford Selects Virginia Tech

Wide receiver Isaiah Ford of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida signed his letter-of-intent to play for the Hokies this morning. He's rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com and 4-star recruit by 247Sports. Ford is a former Louisville commit who reopened his recruiting process after Charlie Strong took the Texas job.

Steve Jones of The Courier-Journal wrote the following about Ford on January 5, 2014 after he decommitted from Louisville.

The Florida Class 3-A Player of the Year had 37 catches for 719 yards and 12 touchdowns and accounted for 1,067 all-purpose yards and 17 TDs last season, according to stats on the Tampa Tribune website. He had 102 rushing yards and two TDs on nine carries in Trinity Christian's victory in the state finals.

Ford is also a talented basketball player and was planning to join U of L's team as a walk-on.

Trinity Christian head coach Verlon Dorminey told The Courier-Journal on Saturday that Ford would probably end up at Virginia Tech, which has also invited him to join the basketball team as a walk-on.

Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer is expected next week to visit Ford, who has already made his official visits to Louisville and Virginia Tech.

Ford's film is available on his Hudl.

The first thing that pops off the tape is his initial quickness off the line of scrimmage. His reaction to the ball being snapped and first stride may be the quickest I have ever seen on a prospect film. He is at full speed almost in his first stride, and combines that quickness with a wicked shoulder fake to beat press coverage. Ford's ability to get to full speed so quickly makes him tough to press, as if he beats the press he is several strides behind the defender before they even have time to react.

Against "off coverage" (man or zone), he still has excellent straight line speed but his route running mostly appears to be go routes, slants, and sluggos. He will need to make sharper cuts, but in lieu of those so-so routes he has an outstanding change of pace, where he appears to be going full speed, and when he threatens a defender's cushion he can change speed and go by them. His high school team seems to like utilizing him on jump ball go routes in the end zone and he has great timing on when to jump and go catch the ball with his hands at its highest point. It seems obvious that a receiver should "catch with their hands" but the Hokies never were able to establish a deep threat who could win a jump ball, and perhaps the most promising receiver on the roster (Josh Stanford) has a habit of letting the ball get into his chest. I look for guys to snatch the ball with their hands.

Ford also appears to be very versatile. His high school team aligns him as a motioning flanker, a slot receiver, and a true split end. At the end of the season, he was even used often as a wildcat quarterback. As offenses have become more multiple, each position requires different strengths. For the Hokies, a split end (on the line of scrimmage, often on the boundary) has to beat press coverage, run solid routes against bump and run and man coverage, and is usually a bigger body. Those receivers must be adept blocking on screens, running slants, posts, go routes, and curls. The flanker (off the line of scrimmage) is usually quicker and isn't as good at getting off press coverage. Flankers usually get free releases and often run crossing routes over the middle, and for Loeffler they will usually be the receiver in motion. The slot receiver usually is the quickest receiver in tight space, and is looked to be a fearless player who can get open in zones normally manned by linebackers. Ford is used in all three roles. He has highlight plays as a runner on jet sweeps (even throwing a pass off of a rocket sweep reverse pass). He threatens safeties vertically (imagine him running the same route as Kalvin Cline in the Sun Bowl) from the slot, and he beats both press and off coverage on slants and go routes from split end.

Besides his route running being improved, I would like to see Ford add a bit of size. He is listed at 6-2, 177 pounds. In Loeffler's offense, he will need to block (I didn't notice any plays with him blocking on the highlight reel) and the extra size and strength will help. That may hamper his initial efforts to get immediate playing time, especially with four experienced receivers returning ahead of him and several other talented freshmen in the mix for playing time, but of the current group of verbal commitments only Cam Phillips looks more polished in his receiving technique than Ford. He has a bit of that Eddie Royal look to him, and I don't throw that comparison around lightly.

He could also contribute as a punt returner. I was impressed with how quickly he got up field on punt returns, and instead of running away from guys, he runs right into tight spaces and go through the seams. That is critical for a punt returner, as it is rare where the slow developing wide alley opens up for long returns anymore. Ford's speed and assertiveness could make him a contender to play right away, especially given how poorly the Hokies returned punts in 2013.

It's possible Ford ends up as a two-sport athlete at Virginia Tech. He's a gifted basketball player too.

Welcome to HokieNation Isaiah Ford!

Comments

Lane Stadium, a.k.a The Dealership (Beamers and Fords)

Welcome to Hokienation!
Huge get IMO!

Go Hokies!

Rescue a Greyhound, please!

Oh this is good...now I'm happy!!

Minority Report.

Finally we get lucky!!! Great pickup for both foosball and the other sport which I don't want to mention.

We're good at wrestling. Let's talk about that instead!

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"
-Bender

Wow, he plays foosball too? So he's a three-sport athlete?

Foosball?

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

BOOM! I'd like to think he committed because I said hi to him and Moorehead when he was on his official.

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

I don't want to brag or anything, but I do have a pretty damn good "Hi!"

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Sounds like you committed a violation....NCAA rules permit the use of "You!" but do not allow "Hi".

VHokie

Yeah... he'd better self-report that before half the goddamned NCAA shows up in Blacksburg with a microscope!

Virginia Tech would walk right up to you and punch you in the neck. They're just tougher. Cowherd 3:16

Fortunately for the school, I don't live in Blacksburg. Being outside DC they will have to weed through FAR more shady people than me!

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

The ncaa microscope doesn't have a high magnification anyway!!!

Just like they did at Miami and UNC, right?

ChicagoHokie

Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Way to go above and beyond.

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"
-Bender

I was really wanting this kid. Almost as much as Harrison. Hope he plays well for football and basketball. Excited for this guy!

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"
-Bender

And great article and analysis. Thanks!

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"
-Bender

We dont suck at recruiting anymore! Yall can come back from the edge of the bridge now.

Good, the water looked cold!

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"
-Bender

As disappointed as I am about Nnadi, I'm so damn glad about this kid becoming a Hokie. Incredibly gifted athlete that will definitely make a difference on the field AND on the court.

#FordToFordForTheTouchdown

I love the tickle of Dickel in my belly

"W-I-N (What's Important Now) To make change; To influence; To use this moment to be better than the last; To achieve greatness in all aspects of your life; Win at home. Win at school. Win at business. Win at life." - Bud Foster

Phew!

That's a big get. We simply could not afford to go 0'fer on the WRs in this class. Ford & Stanford will be great together over the long haul, and maybe Harrison shocks the world and stays with us this afternoon.

don't forget cam phillips. 4* in this class

VT CEE Class of 2016

"Exit Light. Enter night..."

We really needed that after McKenzie and Harrison.

Seems to fit that speed/deep/"big play" role we were sorely missing this year.

Anyone else concerned that he suddenly disappeared from the hokiesports.com ticker and isn't on the LOI signing roster? The list goes from "2 of 20" to "20 of 20" - hopefully just a technical glitch? Can anyone ease my paranoia?

UPDATE: 1 of 20 is now Tyrell Smith and Isaiah Ford has been removed from hokiesports.com ticker. Oh my poor blood pressure...

He's showing as signed to VT by just about everyone

I wouldn't worry

I'm seeing Bitter tweet that the NLI is in for Ford, so I count that as reliable. Maybe the NLI is in but he wants to make the announcement himself at 2. That's what I'm hoping for.

At the time, I think that was Tyrell Smith who wasn't showing up.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

So does that mean Frank could be the reason our basketball program turns around?

Rip his freaking head off!

I always knew it was a matter of time before he coached both sports at once

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

I have a feeling out football teams best 5 could beat the basketball teams best 5

Because it's probably true.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

...lets not test that...I don't know if I can handle any more off season injuries sidelining key players

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

You think that's what Exum was doing?

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Maybe we could sneak him past the NCAA dudes and suit him up for the FSU Bball game tonight?

Ford's name was removed from the ticker on Hokie Sports - what is going on??

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

Basically VT screwed the pooch and let it out before they were suppose to, They were suppose to announce after he announced

DJ Reid LOI is in...but Ford is indeed missing from the ticker.

I guess since Reid sent in an LOI, we should expect one from Holland Fisher also?

VHokie

Awesome news . Huge playmaker. A game changer in football and basketball. The class keeps getting better.

Looks like somebody jumped the gun on his announcement.

@Fightin_Gobbler

Go Hokies

Go Falcons

Both @Beamer_Ball and @VT_Football deleted their tweets. However, the announcement was published on HokieSports.com (now deleted) and BeamerBall.com (still online as of now).

They probably got his fax, and both were premature on the announcement because he's set to announce at his school at 2:00 PM today.

Think they are waiting for him to make it official at 2. He is a Hokie.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

Xavier Burke is in.

"Ranked as the No. 10 tight end-Y in the country"
What is Tight End-Y, Sounds ummm different... Its Lefty's offense right?

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Tight End - Y is a receiving tight end as opposed to Tight End - H known more for blocking and the potential to also be converted to a fullback.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

In my olden days, the Y was the tight end who was on the line of scrimmage. The H was a tight end/fullback hybrid who was flexed off the line of scrimmage. Your X was the receiver who lines up on the line of scrimmage and can't motion unless he is covered and then flexes back in motion (the split end.) Your z is the receiver who lines up off the line of scrimmage and who can motion without another player moving (the flanker).

In layman's terms-
Malleck/Cline is the Y
Rogers is the H (and Malleck played flexed back a bunch in the spring)
Stanford is your true X receiver.
Byrn is your trips/slot guy (no idea what the letter is if there is one. We said "slot left/slot right for the WR who replaced the H or the Y)
Knowles is your flanker.

Viva El Guapo

Hot damn welcome aboard, Isaiah Ford!

He certainly seems to have some similarities to Tavon Austin, minus the wvu side.

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

And the 5-inch difference in height.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Welp, I mixed up their respective attributes, my bad. Still a good addition to the roster.

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

Sweet! I love that we're getting some really good WRs this year.
Hopefully we can start working the NE Florida area through Ford too. As a current Jax resident that would be awesome!

Welcome to Hokie Nation Isaiah Ford! You'll love it here!

Go Hokies!

Cmon - Make it official Ford, so we can have 2014 Ford Focus

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

And then we'll have a Fiesta to finish the day.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Probably need to hire ourselves a good Escort to deal with it all

Oh, not this again.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

If your Escort is a good Explorer, you could Escape to some exotic destination.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Seems like we've been waiting for Ford 500 hours

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

Focus, guys. We gotta think about who will lead our offense next year.

Now, if I were to grade Mark Leal, I'd give him an F. One fifty-yard drive here and there won't get it done.

It seems like the board would be happy with a fusion of Andrew Ford and Chris Durkin. I kinda like the tempo that they operate with.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

I'll give you a leg for your creativity with working in the F-150

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

Why wait, when you can have them now?

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

sharp dressed young man. His twitter feed was.....um.......different....than that of Javon Harrison.

Lol you saw that too?

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

Harrison's tweeting style was off-putting at best, incoherent frequently.

At any point during the call did he look like this:

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

thought I heard that he already submitted his LOI?

yeah, once that is in our hands, he is ours for 12 months...let's hope we really received it.

I don't have to take this abuse from you, I've got hundreds of people dying to abuse me.

that would hurt bigtime. how a UF team that wasn't even .500 beat us.

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

"It ain't easy bein steezy"

#VanillaVick will lead us to the promise land

thank god there was a little minor panic after seeing uf contact him near the end

tyrod did it mikey! tyrod did it!

#ALLoftheFords

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

"It ain't easy bein steezy"

#VanillaVick will lead us to the promise land

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Thank God. We couldn't afFORD to lose him today.

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

How does Ford compare to Harrison. Is he a good replacement? Better?

He's very similar as a WR. Good size, explosive big playmaker. Depending on the service he's actually rated higher than Harrison.

Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Whitley, Hosley, Fuller, Exum

I like Ford. I don't see him as the big play threat that Harrison would have been. Ford is probably a better route runner right now, and can be used on the jet sweep (played as a wildcat QB often at the end of his senior year.)

Viva El Guapo

OFFICIAL:

@MichaelLKelly: Trinity Christian Standout Isaiah Ford is headed to Virginia Tech. #Hokies #JaxSigningDay

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

I. Ford is on the ticker! SOLD!!!!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

He just signed. Gotta say we brought in a great WR class. Hey Javon, don't come across the middle because Mr. Holland Fisher #TheHeadHunter might knock your gold teeth out.

Oh and Derrick, enjoy picking splinters out of your ass. When you do see the field expect to be pancaked from Mr. Pettit #Colt45

Karma's a b!%&$ #FSUCriminals

Yep. People seem to underestimate Nnadi, he's the best DT recruit FSU got. Dude's gonna play.

(I have seen it mentioned a few times that FSU is interested in moving him to OL)

Not only is he a beast of a recruit he has a massive chip on his shoulder. Would have been great to see what he could do in Foster's D. No need to be bitter, just need to recruit Settle and Taylor that much harder.

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Lol! Recruit...Settle and Taylor....MUCH HARDER. That is all.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

He's a Ford, not a Lincoln.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

Yes! Now that it is official, in the immortal words of Sean Connery, "SUCK IT MUSCHAMP!"

Go Hokies!

Wait a sec-YOU'RE NOT Frye!

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

So there can only be a single Frye....?!? ;-) No worries and Go Hokies!

Go Hokies!

Ahem.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

The best part is how your avi is looking up at his with a shocked expression.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

I'm always looking up with a shocked expression.
That's who I am, it's not an avi.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

I know I posted this on another thread, but in light of Isaiah Ford and recruits misnaming schools (see UFS) I feel it very necessary to put this up for Muschamp, FU and ALL of Toyota gaytor nation

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

SO waiting for the third Ford to send in his LOI (fingers crossed)

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

...and the fourth

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

ME NEITHER!
s

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

Rob Ford may or may not agree with this:

The U invented Swag, but UVA invented Smug.

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

Ford was offered by FSU and picked Tech not to mention he is from the state of Florida. Take that FSU! You steal ours we still yours! Haha.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

In that case, previous quagmire post that was originally to be applied to UFS for stealing Nnadi but was reapplied to Muschamp and FU is now officially back on for Jimbo and UFS.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

Hell yeah. Ford makes up for Harrison by a margin.

Welcome to Hokietown, Isaiah

Makes me feel steadier that we've got the HOAT stamp of approval! Actually it's true.

What's Important Now?
The Lunchpail. The Hammer. BeamerBall.
Deal some damage boys