Nov 9, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Joshua Stanford (5) runs after a catch for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Emergence of Joshua Stanford

Entering the 2013 season, most people thought the Virginia Tech receiving corps would be mainly about D.J Coles and Demitri Knowles which wasn’t a surprise due to those two guys’ status at the top of the depth chart at the beginning of the season. Knowles and Coles have both been good and Knowles seems like a big part of the future of the Virginia Tech receiving corps. However, both players are starting to be passed by a redshirt freshman who has the potential to be a star in the future.

That man is Joshua Stanford.

Joshua Stanford didn’t have a major presence in the offense at the beginning of the season but Stanford was still solid at the start of the season. Stanford seemed to find ways earlier in the season to get open and make the plays the some of the other Virginia Tech receivers just weren’t making. Stanford was finding ways to get open and that has led to Stanford getting a bigger role in the offense for the Hokies.

Stanford has taken on a role now as a featured receiver and he is starting to thrive with 13 receptions, 278 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown. Stanford has been averaging 16.5 yards per reception in 2013 and has been a major reason why Virginia Tech’s passing game has been performing better these last few weeks. Stanford is a productive player that can be dangerous on the outside or in the slot which is why Stanford is getting a lot more playing time.

Joshua Stanford’s speed can allow him to make some plays and get the separation that has allowed him to make 10 to 15 yard receptions which is an improvement on the short passes that dominated Virginia Tech’s offense earlier in the season. Stanford also is becoming a solid route runner which is another reason why Stanford seems to find holes in the opposing secondary. Stanford also knows how to break some tackles and turn small gains into big plays for the Hokies like he did against Miami when he broke 4 tackles to get his touchdown. Joshua Stanford is going to be a big time playmaking receiver for the Hokies for a long time and should continue to be a difference maker throughout the rest of the 2013 season.

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