The Hokies have struggled to put together much-needed depth at the wide receiver position with Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips being used as much as possible. Meanwhile, backup wide receivers like Demitri Knowles, Kevin Asante, C.J. Carroll, and Deon Newsome have not proven to be at the level necessary to get playing time with the first-team offense.
The Hokies announced a decision that could provide some depth at the wide receiver spot for the rest of the season.
#Hokies coach Frank Beamer says team has moved Greg Stroman to WR.
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) October 5, 2015
With this announcement, you have to wonder how long the Hokies have been pondering permanently moving Greg Stroman to wide receiver, and whether he has been receiving reps at WR in practice the last few weeks or not?
Stroman likely will take the slot wide receiver role for the Hokies though Travon McMillian may play a lot in the slot while Stroman makes the transition, and if Stroman doesn’t work out well at wide receiver.
On paper, Stroman has the athletic skill set with great speed and solid size at 6’1” to fit well in the slot for the Hokies. Stroman has been used some at wide receiver for the Hokies albeit in limited appearances with his most prominent appearance coming in the Military Bowl.
However, the one thing the Hokies need to avoid doing with Stroman is using him on the jet sweep or at least doing a good job of disguising that they are about to run a jet sweep. Against Pittsburgh, it became pretty obvious when the Hokies were running a jet sweep based on the formation, and Pittsburgh’s defense shut it down.
Stroman is one of those elusive players that the Hokies should try to get in space due to his speed whether it is on some sort of quick screen pass or on a quick slant out of the slot.
The timing of the move is a little surprising given that Stroman had been the number 1 nickel cornerback. However, Stroman had struggled some while Mook Reynolds has proven that he is capable of taking over the nickel cornerback spot with Brandon Facyson, and a mixture of Terrell Edmunds and Donovan Riley at the boundary cornerback spots.
There may be some that see depth as a potential concern with moving Stroman away from cornerback, but even if Kendall Fuller goes to the NFL as most expect, the Hokies still have Facyson, Edmunds, and Reynolds back next year. Virginia Tech also is currently redshirting DuWayne Johnson, and has Khalil Ladler, Troy Pride Jr., and Myles Wolfolk all committed.
Virginia Tech has the cornerback depth they need to make this move a lot easier, and there is a chance that it could still improve, especially if Fuller comes back or if they flip the commitment of Tennessee CB commit Marquill Osborne.
Moving Greg Stroman makes a lot of sense, but also shows the inability of the wide receivers behind Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips to step up and take the number 3 wide receiver spot. Now, we will have to see if Stroman can be that guy.