After having a strong freshman season with 56 receptions for 709 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns, expectations were high for Isaiah Ford entering his sophomore season. Many wondered how good Ford could be and in 2015, we found out that the Hokies might have their best wide receiver in program history.
Ford's season will go down as the best-ever statistically for a Virginia Tech wide receiver with 63 receptions, 937 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns. His 63 receptions and 10 receiving touchdowns are both new single-season school records while Ford only needs 26 yards to break Andre Davis's receiving record though Davis's numbers don't include his bowl game totals.
Against Tulsa, Ford has a very high chance at having Virginia Tech's first official 1,000 receiving yard season along with climbing potentially as high as third on Virginia Tech's all-time list with 7 receptions to tie Ernest Wilford and 8 to pass him along with Antonio Freeman and Josh Morgan. Ford also benefits from the fact that Tulsa's defense is ranked 126th out of 128 teams in FBS.
Isaiah Ford currently leads the ACC in receiving yards, and that probably won't change with Pittsburgh's Tyler Boyd being the only one in realistic striking distance. Ford has had a couple of disappointing games including his two-reception, 21-yard game against Pittsburgh, but Ford has had at least four receptions or 50+ receiving yards in every other game this season.
Ford has had some big games down the stretch of the season with 8 catches for 155 receiving yards and a touchdown against North Carolina, and 6 catches for 121 receiving yards and a touchdown at Virginia. Against N.C. State, Ford only had 4 receptions for 39 receiving yards, but made plays when the Hokies needed him to with 3 touchdown catches against the Wolfpack.
Isaiah Ford's success was not due to the fact that he was a great athlete with tremendous size, but because of the fact that he put in the hard work in the offseason with his targets on being a top wide receiver. Ford's impressive work ethic translated on the field as it seemed almost impossible for opposing defenses to contain Ford for all four quarters.
Ford became a very effective route-runner that also pushed his athletic skills, and developed into a dangerous playmaker that opposing defensive coordinators had to plan for despite the fact that Virginia Tech had other talented players including another matchup nightmare, Bucky Hodges.
Ford's performance this season has led to him earning All-ACC First Team honors from just about everyone including the ACC media and coaches, ESPN, the Associated Press, and Phil Steele. Ford will definitely be on the Preseason All-ACC Team ahead of the 2016 season, and has to be someone NFL scouts are keeping their eyes on.
After having a great freshman season, Isaiah Ford did not settle and now has the opportunity to go down as Virginia Tech's greatest wide receiver along with the potential to break some of Virginia Tech's all-time receiving records as a junior. Ford is not only on pace to break some records, but put up numbers receiving stats on a level that has never been seen before in Blacksburg if he stays all four years.
Even across different eras of football, Ford is already in a class with Virginia Tech receiving greats like Carroll Dale, Ricky Scales, Antonio Freeman, Andre Davis, Josh Morgan, and Jarrett Boykin; and could go down as the greatest. Ford has the potential to become the first-ever Hokie to have 3,000 receiving yards, 250 receptions, and 25 or even 30 receiving touchdowns barring injuries or an early departure.
Isaiah Ford's great season is only a sign of things to come as the Hokies may have their best wide receiver in program history and with Justin Fuente's arrival, Ford has the potential to be Virginia Tech's first wide receiver to receive any sort of All-American status.
However, Ford's 2015 season on its own is the best statistically and may be the best regardless of era for a Virginia Tech wide receiver. That alone just shows the legacy that Isaiah Ford is already leaving in Blacksburg and the great thing for Hokie fans is that he still has two more years of eligibility.