It’s a bye week, so let’s take a look towards the future. Today, I’m going to be looking at one of the top recruits of the 2017 class — Tahj Capehart. He’s a 5’10”, 180 pound wide receiver out of Virginia Beach.
Looking at his film, I can immediately see how he will fit into this new offense that Hokie fans have been seeing these first few weeks. In this first clip, it’s a simple screen pass. However, the set up is very similar to what we have seen a couple times with Bucky Hodges on the receiving end.
Capehart does a great job of first selling going out a route (making the corner back up), and then coming back to the ball. After catching it, he uses his agility to evade the closest defender, and then he’s in the open field. Once out in the open, he is patient, waits for his blocks to set up, and then follows them.
Capehart also has the speed to burn the defense if they don’t guard him correctly. This play, he shifts into the slot and then just flat out sprints through the zone defense. The quarterback delivers a perfect throw, and Capehart once again uses his athleticism to go up between two defenders and come down with the touchdown.
This play is very similar to the first one that I went over. It’s a simple screen pass — an integral part of the Hokies playbook — which Capehart turns into a touchdown. He again does a great job selling the route, and then dropping back for the pass. Once he catches the ball, he jukes out the closest defender and sees where his block is. Capehart follows that block instead of just putting his head down and running upfield. He has great vision on this play to realize that he has a seal on the edge, and uses it to his advantage.
This is where Capehart shows his versatility and how well he will fit into Fuentes’ offense. In this clip, it’s a simple jet sweep that Capehart runs to perfection. He gets the ball on the handoff and spots the hole that has opened up because of the slot receiver crashing down onto the corner. Capehart plants his foot and turns up field — using his great vision, he once again sees that the wide-out will have sealed the outside. He uses his speed to out run the helping safety, but can’t quite turn the corner for a touchdown.
For the final clip, Capehart runs a simple 5-yard route out into the flat. What stood out to me in this play is how slowly he lets the play develop. Once he catches the ball, he take a few stutter steps to freeze the oncoming defender. Once engaged, his agility allows him to push through the initial arm tackle. Once wrapped up, he uses his strength to gain several extra yards — with a little helpful push from the lineman. These are the types of plays that don’t stand out to you on a stat sheet, but are critical for the success of the offense under Fuente.
In conclusion, Tahj Capehart is a very talented receiver that will help fill the void after Isaiah Ford leaves for the NFL. He won’t replace him completely, but he has the skill set to help. His speed can be used as a weapon for deep balls, but he also looks to have great field vision and patience after catching the ball on short routes. This is a huge get for Coach Fuente and his staff.