With the departures of Isaiah Ford and Bucky Hodges, the Virginia Tech Hokies knew that they would need some of their younger wide receivers to step up and fill the holes left by two of the most talented receivers to play at Virginia Tech. The Hokies brought in a large class of wide receivers in Justin Fuente’s first recruiting class but already has seen one go from offense to defense in Divine Deablo.
However, one of the other three receivers still at wideout is having a breakout spring that has put him in great position to start for the Hokies this fall.
Sophomore Eric Kumah earned a role on special teams and took some limited offensive snaps last season but did not have a single reception in what was an interesting move but one that the coaching staff has suggested has helped Kumah get more acclimated to the collegiate level and helped him have an advantage on those who redshirted with Kumah taking advantage of that so far.
One thing that has been consistently talked about is Kumah’s ability to make plays on 50-50 balls with Justin Fuente and Brandon Facyson both saying this past week how Kumah has been able to win some 50-50 balls and contested throws this spring. WRs coach Holmon Wiggins also said that Kumah is showing he can be the answer for the Hokies as a guy who can go up and get jump balls, something that Bucky Hodges was quite good at.
Justin Fuente also praised Kumah’s intelligence in his remarks and how he has been doing well this spring saying this:
“He’s intelligent, you can move him around and do some different things so he’s been the guy that hasn’t played very much that has done some good things this spring.”
Holmon Wiggins also mentioned how Kumah has been producing this spring for the Hokies with Kumah being the main guy stepping up and being answer to the concerns that surround Virginia Tech’s supporting cast that Justin Fuente has said is much more of a concern for him than figuring out who the starting QB will be.
When the media were allowed to see some of Virginia Tech’s practice during the first week of spring football, we saw a very close battle on the outside for the starting spot opposite Cam Phillips between Kumah and Phil Patterson with Patterson seeming to have a slight edge. While Patterson has had a good spring, Kumah has had one of the best springs of anyone on the roster with Kumah seeming to climb into the open outside starting WR role.
Coming out of high school, Kumah showed plenty of promise as a fairly well-rounded receiver for a guy coming out of high school with good size that seemed to have the versatility to work on the outside or in the slot. Kumah isn’t going to be a big speed threat, but he has good size and has shown that he can be a bigger, physical receiver to go up and make things happen in the air.
Kumah wasn’t able to earn meaningful playing time this past fall but it appears just being on the field for some snaps, including a few in the Belk Bowl when Isaiah Ford briefly came out to be checked out for an injury, has helped him a lot this spring with Kumah taking advantage of that experience to become the leader to be the starting receiver on the outside opposite Cam Phillips.
Obviously, there’s a lot that could still change and Phil Patterson definitely has the talent to earn that outside starting WR job over Eric Kumah but Kumah has had one of the best springs of any Virginia Tech WR and will definitely have a significant role as a top outside receiver on the outside right after the Hokies’ “bell cow” for next fall, Cam Phillips.