The Positive Impact of Wide Receivers Coach Aaron Moorehead


Sep 14, 2013; Greenville, NC, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies receiver Demitri Knowles (80) is congratulated by teammate Willie Byrn (82) after a first half touchdown against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last offseason, the Virginia Tech Hokies made some major changes with the offensive coaching staff as Bryan Stinespring was moved from Offensive Coordintor to Tight Ends Coach and Scot Loeffler was brought in as the replacement. On top of that, Jeff Grimes was brought in to be the offensive line coach though he only stayed one year before he left for LSU with Stacy Searels replacing him. The only other coach that was brought in as part of the major offensive coaching staff change was Aaron Moorehead as the former Super Bowl champion and Stanford graduate assistant became the Hokies’ Wide Receivers coach.

At the time Aaron Moorehead was probably the most under the radar pickup and possibly the biggest risk especially since Moorehead had only been a graduate assistant previously. On top of that, the Hokies seemed to set to have one of the weakest groups of wide receivers in a long time with fans yearning for the next Jarrett Boykin and Eddie Royal. However, the Virginia Tech wide receiver corps entering this upcoming season looks like one of the best in a while and Aaron Moorehead definitely is a reason for that.

The best example of what Moorehead has done to improve the Virginia Tech wide receiving corps is the improvement Joshua Stanford showed over the course of last season. Stanford started out as a freshman with low expectations but as the season went along, his play improved and he became the Hokies’ top receiver and made 11 starts. Stanford had two big games in back-to-back weeks against Boston College and Miami where he proved that he was going to be a big time player.

Stanford would end the season with 40 receptions for 640 receiving yards and 1 touchdown while also averaging 16.0 yards per reception. Stanford also was honored by College Football News as an Honorable Mention Freshman All-American which just shows how good of a job Moorehead did in helping to develop Stanford. Now, Stanford has the potential to be the best receiver for the Hokies since Jarrett Boykin or possibly ever.

Willie Byrn was another guy the Aaron Moorehead did a great job developing as Byrn went from an unknown walk-on to a productive man that delivered in some big moments. Byrn went from not being a contender to start to making 7 starts on the season while also leading the Hokies in receptions and receiving yards with 51 catches for 660 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Byrn was another example of a player that Moorehead made a big impact on last season.

Entering the 2014 season, the Hokies have their best receiving corps in years which is a big contrast to what it seemed like entering last season. Stanford and Demitri Knowles both made one of Phil Steele’s four Preseason All-ACC teams while Byrn and Carlis Parker both seem like matchup issues for opponents. Aaron Moorehead has done a tremendous job improving Virginia Tech’s wide receivers and he’s only been in Blacksburg for one season. Imagine what Moorehead could do over multiple years.

Follow us on Twitter @GobblerFighting and sign up for our newsletter for the latest news and analysis on the Hokies.