Class of 2014 First Look: Andrew Ford

The Virginia Tech football program finds itself at a crossroads. For the first time since Tyrod Taylor's senior season, HokieNation is uncertain of the future at the quarterback position. Mark Leal may end up winning the starting job in 2014, but ultimately Scot Loeffler will be measured on his quarterbacks.

Loeffler secured verbal commitments from two highly regarded class of 2014 quarterbacks, Andrew Ford and Chris Durkin. Loeffler also pursued David Cornwell (Alabama) and Jacob Park (Georgia). The first quarterback to sign with Tech was Cedar Cliff High School's (Pennsylvania) Andrew Ford. Ford, is a 6-3,193-pound lefty thrower. He's rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and a 4-star recruit by 247Sports. He was also selected as an Elite 11 quarterback. As a senior, he was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Pennsylvania.

Quarterback is perhaps the most difficult position to evaluate on a highlight film. It is challenging to determine the level of competition, the quality of receivers, and also factor in the competency of the system to get receivers open. I, like I am sure everyone else who watched, was very impressed with Ford when I watched his junior season highlight reel following his commitment this summer. However, I wanted to dig a bit deeper and see him in game situations. Not only was I looking for mechanics, arm strength, and athleticism, but I was also looking for his field generalship. Loeffler wants the quarterback to be the boss of the huddle and direct traffic out on the field, including making adjustments and setting protections. "The Guy" will not only need to be a thrower, but a player who can win a game with his arm, feet, strength of personality, and brain.

I was very fortunate to stumble upon a YouTube video of Ford's Cedar Cliff team taking on unbeaten Hershey around the fourth week of the 2013 season. Every snap is featured, so I had an opportunity to see Ford run the huddle, go through pre-snap progressions, make plays with his feet and and arm, and make mistakes.

Ford has complete and total confidence in his accuracy. He adjusts angles and trajectories of passes and has outstanding chemistry with his receivers. In high school, his offense ran a great deal of post-wheel, slant wheel, and straight go routes. He completed over 66 percent of his passes during the 2013 season, and a large number were high risk deep balls. It is difficult to really judge his arm strength because so many of his deep throws are touch passes that come down from a high trajectory where only his receivers have a legitimate shot to make the catch.

Here is a terrific example. Cedar Cliff often motioned put a receiver in a jet sweep motion, and then throws play-action routes up the seams in an effort to catch the safeties mesmerized by the motion. Ford throws a seam route off an outside release against man coverage.

00:31:48–00:32:00

The throw is a high arcing pass that lands softly right into the receiver's arms. The receiver did break stride to make the catch, but as you can recall, Logan Thomas would often overthrow similar routes because his lower trajectory didn't allow for receivers to run underneath the pass.

You see these tear drop type throws again and again on film. Later in the second half, Ford again looks for a mismatch and finds the seam route available.

00:35:44–00:36:03

You will note how Ford sees a matchup that he likes and steps out to make an audible. Recall the Sub Bowl when Mark Leal didn't check to his best matchups when he had Willie Byrn and Joel Caleb in man coverage situations against UCLA's Jordan Zumwalt. Ford clearly gets the matchup he wanted, because he stares down the slot receiver on the linebacker all the way. Even though Ford dropped the pass in his receiver's hands, he doesn't make the catch.

Ford finds the matchup he wants, and hits the seam route in stride against man coverage.

00:38:39–00:38:57

These were all beautiful touch passes. Even when moving the pocket, Ford has outstanding ability to get his body into position to make throws. That footwork is reflected in his accuracy. As you can from his film at the Elite 11 Nike camp, he is mobile and maintains accuracy on the move.

Against Hershey he takes snaps from the shotgun, pistol, and under center and shows that he has excellent footwork to properly execute handoffs from all three depths. He is very comfortable using jet sweep motion from the pistol, which requires excellent timing to execute a dive fake and get the handoff to the sweep man without all three crashing together.

He also has that big man on campus air to him. Often, Ford worked from five receiver sets with no blocking back to help pick up blitzes. He was tasked with setting the protections for the o-line, recognizing blitzes, and making sight adjustments for receiver routes based on coverage. He is vocal and demonstrative, and looks like the boss on the field.

He also has tremendous composure. Here, the running back goes the wrong way on a dive. When the back isn't there to take the handoff, Ford calmly tucks the ball, reverse pivots, and runs for a touchdown.

00:13:08–00:13:15

With all that being said, there are areas where Ford would need to improve if he seriously wants to contend for a starting job. Like Leal, he is mobile, but he doesn't look to be a particularly physical runner. He may surprise a defense with a keeper every now and then, but he isn't going to be a big threat in the option game. His confidence, especially in his arm and his athletic ability, gets him into trouble. In just this game, he had several opportunities to throw balls away and avoid sacks, and instead he tried to keep plays alive with his feet that really have no chance. Here the Hershey defense jumps the tunnel screen to the right.

00:27:33–00:27:44

Instead of throwing a ground ball, Ford tries to roll to the receiver and he gets eaten up for a major loss. He had several throws where he was rolling to his right and tried to float passes to receivers back to the middle of the field. In high school, you can get away with that throw. In the ACC, those passes are likely interceptions.

Additionally, in this game all of Ford's throws were to the middle of the field. There were not any of the standard NFL style throws to get a feel for his arm strength like the deep out to the boundary or the medium out to the field side. It isn't fair to say that Ford's arm strength isn't I-A caliber because spread quarterbacks often never throw those types of routes (see Anthony Boone at Duke). Or, he may have the ability to make that throw but those types of throws just aren't featured on this tape.

One throw from the game film gave me hope that these passes were massaged to fit the skill and speed of his receivers. First, he has tremendous zip on the ball when he tries to throw on the run, it's evident on Ford's highlight tapes.

00:11:52–00:12:03

Ford rolls left. His receiver fakes a comeback route and goes deep. Because of pressure, Ford can't set his feet, but he still lays it just where his receiver can catch it with plenty of velocity. The defender has no chance to make a play on the ball. Again, the accuracy is outstanding.

In other games, Ford has some throws where he puts a little more mustard on it. Several on this film stand out, including a throw that travels around 45 yards in the air rolling to his right. Unfortunately, those sideline throws that you look for to keep a defense from loading up the middle of the field just are not on tape to comment on.

I walk away from this film impressed with Ford's maturity, leadership, and especially accuracy. He excels at identifying favorable matchups and he is very mobile in the pocket without losing sight of his receivers down field. He has all the footwork fundamentals necessary to execute Scot Loeffler's multiple offense, and he comes in looking rathered polished. I still have some concerns about arm strength, and he will need to bulk up a bit if he is going to try to extend plays and take some of the hits he can expect by scrambling in the ACC. With his accuracy and field generalship, it is very easy to envision a former lefty quarterback who gave the Hokies fits; Boise State's Kellen Moore. Moore didn't have a huge arm, but had the confidence and accuracy to throw the ball into spots where his receivers could make plays. Ford has that look to him.

Will Ford contend for a starting job? It is hard to tell. Ford is such a vastly different style of player than Chris Durkin (bigger, stronger, faster, stronger arm, but much less refined as a passer) that it is difficult to determine how Loeffler wants to move forward with the offense. Loeffler also has two veteran quarterbacks who may be inexperienced, but have a year already in the system. I am sure Coach Beamer would love to be able to win using Mark Leal or Brendan Motley and give Ford and Durkin (and perhaps Travon McMillian) a year to mature, but with tremendous pressure from the fanbase and a new AD looming large, Beamer will go with the quarterback who plays the best in the spring. Ford's ability to identify and take advantage of matchups definitely works to his favor.

Comments

Been so looking forward to this one. Haven't even read it yet and I'm giddy.
Thanks French, for making me feel like a schoolgirl!

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

Saw the title of this post and dropped what I was doing to read it. Great breakdown, French; thanks as always. It gives me great confidence in Ford to see his skill level at this point in his career. He has some room to grow, but clearly has solid fundamentals and great athleticism. I can't wait to see him on the field for the Hokies.

French, thanks for the balanced assessment. Hoping to see Loeffler will force him to demonstrate those things (throwing those outs, knowing when to throw it away) in the spring.

From watching those few short clips, I came away most impressed with the touch on his passes. Especially the ones where was rolling out and would hit the receiver in stride. It's going to be a fun spring to see how all of this plays out.

You know what's going to suck? No matter which of the two wins the qb derby... people will clamor for the other other one after every pick thrown by the starter. Brace yourselves - a storm is coming.

I miss Stick it In

Better to have someone else to argue for. Not a problem we have had a lot in the past.

Al Clark / Nick Sorenson
Bryan Randall / Marcus Vick
Sean Glennon / Tyrod Taylor
Logan Thomas / Mark Leal (semi-imagined)

We will always find someone else to argue for, regardless of how logical it is.

What are these "favorable matchups" you keep speaking of? Any idea what kept him from getting in the final 11? Seemed like arm strength might not be the best but with his size I would imagine core and strength work will help him develop more zing when he needs it.

Favorable matchup = slot receiver on a linebacker, taller/faster receiver on a shorter/slower DB, etc. Also, I watched the elite 11 on TV, and it honestly seemed like if you didn't have a moving sob story, you weren't in contention. It was honestly kinda annoying. They didn't spend much time on Ford cause they were too busy talking about the "incredible" (and admittedly, some of them were) back stories of some of the other kids. Never really got around to talking a whole heck of a lot about the QB position.

On many of those seam throws, Hershey is playing man coverage. Ford comes to the line and checks the play to go routes where a safety or a linebacker has a one on one match up without deep safety help. He knows the capability of his talent, and he knows the weak links in the defensive coverage, which is a product of preparation and great film study.

Meanwhile, as you will recall from my Sun Bowl film review, Mark Leal was in the same situation on several important plays. Twice, he had Joel Caleb split out wide with Jordan Zumwalt one on one in coverage. Once, on a critical third down, he had Willie Byrn all alone against Zumwalt in the slot running a crossing route. He looked over the defense at the line and should have immediately checked to one of those guys, or looked to them as the primary route runner. Instead, once the ball was snapped his eyes never directed towards either guy. You can't win in big boy college football without taking advantage of coverage mismatches, and Ford (unlike every other guy on the roster) looks to be strong in that area.

I know folks are going to ask about Durkin (and potentially McMillian, who I watched film on last night.) Durkin is going to be a run-first guy; a Blake Bell style fullback playing quarterback. His mechanics are really out of whack on some plays even in his highlights, but he can be a big time weapon day one in the running game. McMillian I think will probably play defense, but he has a much better arm than given credit for and he is a very good runner in the option game. I think his height (6'0) coupled with the recruitment of running backs that are more power/pro style oriented means he is destined for defense.

Viva El Guapo

The end of this recruiting class could make a huge impact on the QB job going into the spring. If we can close Harrison and Isaiah Ford to go along with Josh Stanford it would go a long way towards giving Ford those mismatches that he was able to exploit in high school.

Thanks. I was being a smart arse regarding matchups, but your examples of potential mismatches from the UCLA game are well taken. Even though we might not have the best receiver talent around doesn't mean we can't find and exploit matchups. Agree that it is a big part of the QB position. Hope we can nab a WR or two who can make life easier on our QBs next year. Hope our existing guys overachieve in their preparation for next year.

Thanks French, great read as usual! I think the quarterback competition this spring is going to be fascinating and exciting - can't wait

Texashokie

I think one big take-away from this is definitely his touch. Granted a good chunk of these are deep balls, how many times did we see open receivers get overthrown in the past year here. Accuracy is huge as we all saw with Logan this year, he had good games then ok games then omg games. Will be an interesting QB battle in 2 months

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

Loved watching those deep passes hitting recievers in stride.

I've always had a feeling that Ford would be our starter next year. I just think that he's the type of passer that Loeffler wants to run an offense around.

The Loeffler/Durkin decision I think is going to come down to whether or not Loeffler wants to continute down that IV/RO heavy offense we ran last year, or whether he just ran that because it was the best offense to utilize LT in a short amount of time.

Lefty has stated before that he wants his QB to run the football. I think we'll see a pretty significant reduction in the amount of QB running we see, but it'll definitely still be a good part of our offense.

Is Ford the only incoming QB we have enrolling early?

RealDiehl

one comment:
High school film and light poles in the middle of them. Never changes (unless you're Friday night lights in Texas)

and a question:
French, all other things being equal, in college football would you take a Field General with high accuracy and a lower caliber arm, a big arm that has decent accuracy with less football IQ or a mobile dual-threat QB highlight reel type?

I personally would take the Kellen Moore type myself, but just wondering.

With the spread type systems you have now, you definitely want that accuracy component. Rakeem Cato is a great example of a guy without all the measurables, but in a system where you can spread people out and create matchups, with passing concepts instead of predetermined routes so the receiver is always open if they make the correct read, you need the smart guy who has the confidence to throw where guys should be.

That being said, Auburn just won an SEC title with a QB that is mobile and has a huge gun, but isn't particularly accurate. If you have talent around you and a good system, all three will work. You have to have the talent, and it has to fit what you are doing. If someone brought back the straight T formation or power I and had great athletes who fit the scheme and 100% buy-in, I am convinced you could win today with it.

Viva El Guapo

Nice breakdown, French.

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ford just starts this year to begin with, but I won't hold my breath for it either.

Whoever starts, I think QB is going to be a little rough this year, especially early on. Let's hope we have a strong running game to help ease into it.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Why is his arm strength in question? He didn't underthrow anybody, and with the level of finesse he has throwing the ball, he doesn't necessarily need a LT3/MV7 beefed up arm. I don't know if such a natural thrower as ever played at Tech, although my knowledge only really goes back to 1999 on an individual player basis.
To summarize though I AM EXCITED FOR HIM TO BE PLAYING FOR US.

"Hokie religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." Han Solo

The types of throws he's demonstrated in his film will work just fine in college about 90% of the time. That said, there will be times where he'll either have to throw a long, deep out or fire a ball into a tight window. I'm very excited to see what he can do this spring.

Great stuff French! At 1:05 in the last one where he throws the "Amazing catch" throw, he knew he was gonna get hit, stopped planted firmly and throws a great ball where only his receiver can get it. You can see he has to open up and get hit straight on. That speaks volumes to me. I understand your bulk up comment, but he has a great football mind and team philosophy in my view shown well in that one decision. And the throw was where it had to be.
Also, the offensive plays come to the right a lot in the film. he has to throw across his body several times and the location is darn good to excellent in almost all of them. That isn't easy and he has to do it a lot. He has really good body control for a high school guy, for sure.
He will beat Leal hands down this spring based on the Sun Bowl decisions Leal made in my view. Ford is clearly more cerebral.

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

Regardless of who wins the starting job, the line has gotta give them more time.

Babcock...time to stick it in...again.

Fosterball

And we need the RBs to block better.

Babcock...time to stick it in...again.

Fosterball

How does his film compare to Sean Glennon's film from a handful of years ago? (This isn't meant to start a whole SG discourse, but he is the last real pro-style QB we have seen come through Blacksburg that has seen the field enough to make comparisons). I would imagine that Sean was an accurate & 'smart' QB coming out of HS and had a good highlight reel. I know that the intangibles are the real difference between the two, but it would be interesting to hear from someone that was familiar with SG coming out of high school.

Its hard as a Hokie fan to imagine success that isn't behind a talented mobile QB. Druck is the only exception I have seen (and its hard to call him 'smart'!). Trust me......I want to believe!

It's hard to call Druck smart

haha... and this is a compliment.

good question though about Glennon.

No expert here, but if I had to guess, I would imagine their film is pretty different. Glennon was a pure pocket passer with a cannon for an arm. The question was never "could he throw it that far?" but more "would he throw it that far?" Glennon underthrew a lot of deep balls at Tech to the consternation of many fans, but I don't think his arm strength was ever the question. He also had the luxury of Eddie Royal running underneath his deep bombs in high school and college, which would make anyone look better.

While Ford has good pocket presence, it looks like he is comfortable scrambling outside the pocket and allowing his receivers more time to create separation/break down coverage, something I don't think Glennon did very often. I think the Kellen Moore comparison is spot on, French. If Ford has a career at Tech a la Moore at Boise, undergrads at VT 2014-2018 are in for something special.

It is tough to compare college (I don't have access to Glennon's high school film) vs a high school film, but I always thought Glennon had a really strong arm. I would say his arm is stronger than Ford's (give Glennon was a couple of years older than Ford so it isn't an apples to apples comparison.)

I don't think it is appropriate to call Ford a "pro-style" quarterback. He is very mobile in the pocket. He just isn't a guy who will break tackles out in space. He is quick, and gets reset to throw quickly. He just is a pass first guy from the spread. My biggest bone to pick with Sean, and pretty much every QB at VT that I can remember, is very few seemed to throw comfortable in rhythm that fit how the pass pattern was designed. A QB on a 3 step drop should be SNAP ONE TWO THREE PLANT ball comes out, or check to the next receiver. Same with a 5 step drop. Sean, Tyrod, Randall, Vick... they all struggled to get the ball out off that back foot plant. I think a big part of that weakness was poor route design and route running, even with the great Royal, Harper, Morgan, Clowney group. Guys who should have been open when they planted to throw were not there. But, I believe (and I have no evidence besides the film where EVERY GUY did this) that their QB's were taught to throw to an open man instead of a spot, and try to extend the play to get guys open. That was great for a guy like Tyrod, who didn't have the best arm or confidence in that arm until midway of his senior season, because he could get away from the rush. But Glennon (who was more elusive than given credit for) took a pounding trying to extend plays. Logan really was the best of the bunch at getting the ball out most of the time when the ball was supposed to come out, and I think that is because Loeffler and Moorehead encouraged better route running and more timing focused patterns.

Viva El Guapo

Just imagine if we had a real offense during those days, instead of the "scramble around until you see someone open" style pass plays...

I think Loeffler is going to do a great job of maximizing Ford's talents and we'll see (maybe not this year) some major improvements on the offensive side of the ball.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

I don't think it is appropriate to call Ford a "pro-style" quarterback.

I agree. I hate the pro-style and dual threat labels that Rivals and 247 handout. Essentially, if you're accurate, you're labeled pro-style. If you're extremely athletic and not very accurate, you're labeled dual-threat. I wish we just get rid of the pro-style and dual threat nomenclature. The best QBs in the NFL have to be extremely accurate and most are extremely athletic.

Thanks for clearing that up. I though it was smart (pro) and stupid(dual). Smart like playing behind a fundamentally sound OL with a playbook and athletes to throw to. Stupid like playing behind an OL who was picked for their looks, personality, and ability to get along with a position coach while having to run for your life looking for a WR who had long ago broken off his route in order to find open space you could throw into.

Now I hear that we're gonna take the stupid ones and make em play smart, whereas we used to take the smart ones and make em play stupid. The whole thing seemed kinda nutso to me. Then to explain it to my family after having had a few drinks at tailgate. They thought I had no idea what the hell football was about, despite watching far too much of it every weekend.

I find it much easier to root for stupid people trying to achieve something beyond their grasp. For me to root for smart people who are organized, play as a unit, adapt on the fly, etc. is downright unnatural.

Was I always this F'd up or did VT football make me like this?

To further my point, both Teddy Bridgewater and Jameis Winston were labeled dual-threat quarterbacks by Rivals. Yes, the two most pro-ready QBs in college are dual threat, not pro-style. Bridgewater had 78 total rushing yards this year!

I think Rivals decides on type of QB like this:
Is he Black? Yes --> Dual threat.
Is he white? Yes --> Is he Accurate? Yes --> Pro-style. No --> Dual Threat
I think you can argue some borderline racism there...

Well, it's just like announcers and just about every player - is he a white wide receiver? Wes Welker. None of his physical attributes matter, because that's the only person he could possibly be similar to.

I miss Stick it In

Don't forget the key phrase...."He has a high motor."

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

"This guys a gym rat - just a scrappy, hardworking guy!"

I miss Stick it In

or that he's sneaky fast

"It's worth it right? It's worth it to lay it all on the line for your brothers!"
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster (both quotes)

"Quarterback is perhaps the most difficult position to evaluate on a highlight film"

I'd say OL is

Kinda nitpicking considering he included the word "perhaps" in the sentence.

For me, offensive line is an interesting case study. The key attributes I look for in OL are:
1) Lateral movement
2) Does the blocker continue to chop their feet and move the defender at the point of contact?
3) Does the blocker get extension with their arms when run blocking?

If you get all three plus size and wingspan, they have very high-end potential. You can get a lineman stronger. They can work harder and improve technique. But you can't teach the feet, the instinct to not stop and brace yourself for contact, and the ability to explode and extend.

The one thing you can't get a feel for on film is how much each guy wants to improve and their determination. VT has had some very good offensive linemen since the start of the Beamer era that were not prototypical 6'5 290 pounders who could move etc etc. Those guys worked themselves into being very good players, but on film at this stage, they don't impress. VT has had a small number of those mobile prototype guys with the feet and the reach to be great, but unfortunately very few have lived up to their potential in Blacksburg.

For me, for everything I know about quarterbacking, there are 50 things I don't know. I do know that offenses which don't have the ability to beat man coverage on the boundary (where the defense can give the least amount of help) are somewhat limited. That is why, at the NFL level, getting a QB with the arm strength, accuracy, and timing to throw those deep out, curl, back shoulder, and comeback routes on a line rather than with a loft is so crucial. The lower trajectory throw arrives faster, which doesn't give the corner or a safety coming to help the time to react and adjust to the ball. It also means that the quarterback generally can't take deep shots along the boundary, because he can't set up the threat of a curl or comeback route to make a double move effective.

A great example was the Duke game. Anthony Boone is a really good ACC spread QB. But, his arm isn't elite. Boone didn't have the arm strength to throw those deeper line drive throws to the sidelines. When they tried, Kendall Fuller had a great day with interceptions and deflections. That limited Dukes passing game to screens and throws in the middle of the field. If a defense only has to defend the middle 3rd, it makes it much easier to support the run and take away those easy slant and crossing routes. Boone, accordingly, played probably his worst game of the season against VT.

I don't know that Ford is in the same boat, but the offense he runs doesn't require him to make those kind of throws. He has SPECTACULAR touch on his passes. He throws to spots, and on every throw in the Hershey game with the exception of a couple plays where he was hit on the throw, he is right on the money. The ball hits the fingertips of the receiver. And, rarely are guys wide open with the exception of one or two of the seam routes behind the jet sweep motion. He puts the ball into really tight spots.

Viva El Guapo

>> I do know that offenses which don't have the ability to beat man coverage on the boundary (where the defense can give the least amount of help) are somewhat limited.

One of the biggest problems VT had this season IMHO. We really needed a credible number one WR or even two decent #2s. Would have opened up alot of other areas for us. JMHO

>>That is why, at the NFL level, getting a QB with the arm strength, accuracy, and timing to throw those deep out, curl, back shoulder, and comeback routes on a line rather than with a loft is so crucial. The lower trajectory throw arrives faster, which doesn't give the corner or a safety coming to help the time to react and adjust to the ball. It also means that the quarterback generally can't take deep shots along the boundary, because he can't set up the threat of a curl or comeback route to make a double move effective.

This is why Logan will get picked higher than so many here believe. WR issues as well as coaching / system transition / stability issues hindered his development at VT. Kid gets a ball to the boundary so fast it makes a #1 CB's heart flutter. You can have a shut down corner, or you can double team a #1 WR, but you can't provide help reliably. Makes every investment you have in offensive skill players more productive. Kid is clearly behind the curve, but hopefully he works it out.

Thanks for the write up, French. One question: the words "stare down receiver" terrifies me (an LT era legacy, I'm afraid). Is Ford prone to this a lot, or only when he has a very favorable matchup? Thanks in advance!

Its probably hard to say. In high school if there is no deterrent to staring down a receiver why try and make it harder on yourself by looking off receivers? If you know your guy is going to beat the defense you might as well just concentrate on him. I don't think you can say until we see him against Bud's disguised alignments in spring.

"stare down receiver" could also mean he knows the other routes his WR's are running and he is just doing this to pull the safety to one side of the field then he can quickly turn hus hips and throw an ACCURATE ball down field to an open WR

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

In this particular case, no, but he's done that exact move several times in his film. He definitely has the ability to move the safety with his head and shoulders and then throw to the open part of the field that said safety just vacated.

I think it was more the byproduct of that game. Ford pre-snap identified that a safety wasn't in position to help, and he knew that he didn't have help in the backfield blocking, so he needed to get the throw off quickly. Worst case it is incomplete.

In his highlight reel, he does an excellent job of checking down. He keeps his eyes downfield, even while scrambling.

The biggest worry you have to have with him is that he is so confident in his accuracy that he sometimes throws the ball back to the middle of the field while running towards the sidelines. As any Brett Favre and Peyton Manning fan will tell you, that is a recipe for disaster in the DI and pro ranks. You can get away with it in high school, but the closing speed at the next level is too great to try it, and I am sure if he hasn't learned, Facyson and Fuller will give him a reminder this spring.

Viva El Guapo

Yes, that is a recipe for disaster in the DI and pro ranks...

I just wouldn't use Brett Favre and Peyton Manning as examples of how you shouldn't play QB...

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

I agree with you on Peyton. Brett, however... seemed like he managed to win so many games on crazy plays that no QB in their right mind should try, and lost so many more failing to connect on those same plays.

Yep, at least three playoff games went south specifically because of Favre throws rolling right and throwing back to the middle, plus the Manning OT INT vs Baltimore.

Viva El Guapo

Yeah, but you have to win games to get there. I think we all saw how much Manning, at least, means to his team when Indianapolis lost him.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Yeah, for one year. And now they're right back where they were, for the most part.

Well yeah, Andrew Luck is pretty good too. But it's not like he doesn't throw interceptions either. If Ford comes in and plays like Peyton Manning, but throws across his body and losses a championship game because of an INT, but wins two other championship games, then I'll be happy.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

I just wouldn't use Brett Favre and Peyton Manning as examples of how you shouldn't play QB...

Agreed. When I think "Manning" and "INTs", I definitely think of Eli.

Hokies, Redskins and Braves fan since birth.
#BeatW&M

Speaking of Manning, every time I watch this kids film, Manning immediately comes to mind. I think its how he chops his steps in the pocket before throwing the ball and the arm motion they both use seems eerily similar.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

awesome find.

I love this: "I saw in pre-snap that he was going to be pretty open."

I am really going to enjoy watching this kid play.

My goodness.

Its REALLY difficult to not get really excited about our future listening to this. The guy absolutely knows his stuff. Comes across as a very cerebral QB, and we don't have O'Cain & Stiney leading the show anymore absolutely ruining the development.

From listening to LT3 talk about how he got more coaching in one year last year from Loeff than the rest of his career combined, and seeing someone like this come in. If we EVER get that OL solidified and we can keep this guy off the grass, there is absolutely no reason why we won't have a pretty darn good offense in the near future. And combine a good offense with the defense that we have come to expect annually, right now could very well be the calm before the impending Hokie storm in the Coastal.

THIS.

2016. From the Battle at Bristol to the Crystal Trophy. That's our year IMO.

Assuming someone is catching those passes. Don't forget that little detail.

we don't have O'Cain & Stiney leading the show anymore absolutely ruining the development

To add to that, Loeffler is first and foremost a QB-focused OC, who of course coached the likes of Tom Brady and Tim Tebow... excites the heck outta me to think what will become of the next great Tech QB...

a QB-focused OC, who of course coached the likes of Tom Brady and Tim Tebow...

... one of whom was a quarterback ...

(sorry, I couldn't resist)

Hey, let's not forget that Tebow was an outstanding college QB who led the country in pass efficiency when Loeffler was there.

That is fantastic. My only bone to pick with him was on the first read. The corner didn't hesitate and the flat was wide open. The deep guy who made the catch over the top had the safety coming hard to help. That is a dangerous throw in the ACC.

Viva El Guapo

Joe Montana did not have a cannon; but he sure knew where to throw the ball. I'lll take a samrt qb with a good arm over a not so smart qb with a cannon.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

And it would not hurt to have a Jerry Rice clone to throw to.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

Getting through his progressions will be huge. Also the TE play where he said he looked the safety away, that shows maturity and understanding of the game. This is what Leal didn't do in the SunBowl. Granted it was his first game action in a long time, he didn't look comfortable at all. Kind of looked like a freshman to me, he knows the playbook but not what to do with it.

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

With his accuracy and field generalship, it is very easy to envision a former lefty quarterback who gave the Hokies fits; Boise State's Kellen Moore. Moore didn't have a huge arm, but had the confidence and accuracy to throw the ball into spots where his receivers could make plays. Ford has that look to him.

Nailed it. That's exactly what I see. However, it looks like he already has more arm strength than Moore, as Moore couldn't even throw lollipop deep throws with consistency. I also think he moves a little like Manziel, shifty with the ability to throw on the run, but not as fast.

My motto for 2014: Let the Kids Play. Especially Ford. For all his lack arm strength, I think he overtakes all the other QBs in the intangibles.

Sure seems to have all the tools, but hope he (and we) can give him a year with Gentry before we throw him in the fire.

Question; will his football IQ, composure, touch, and intangibles show up a lot in practice, or is practice more of a skills test and going through the motions? Will he have to get into a game situation to really prove himself? I think that will be the biggest factor in whether or not he wins the starting job.

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

Looks like he has a ton of potential. One important question was left unanswered though. How big are his hands? Big hands are key for top-tier QB's. Huge hands help when playing in bad weather, so much so that the NFL scouts evaluate hand size as much as any other physical attribute.

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

With him enrolling in the Spring, what exactly does he get to participate in? I'd assume he gets several extra months to look at the playbook, conditioning, and just getting to know fellow players. But what about practice and time with Lefty to work on technique?

He'll get the same practice time every other player enrolled at Tech will get. Same situation that Facyson had last spring as an early enrollee.

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