Will Isaiah Ford be targeted more in 2016?

Isaiah Ford put together the best individual receiving season ever by a Virginia Tech pass catcher in 2015, earning first-team All-ACC honors and playing a key role in the Hokies producing another winning record and a triumph in Frank Beamer’s final bowl game. The Jacksonville, Florida rising senior set a school record for receptions (75), yards (1,194) and touchdowns (11).

And now, as the Hokies undergo a dramatic transition from the run-happy days of Beamer to the multi-dimensional spread offense of first-year head coach Justin Fuente, the truly impressive thing is that Ford is going to have a chance to significantly increase his production.

Ford, of course, will be the recipient of rolling coverages and double-teams when opposing defenses can allow it, but he’s clearly going to be one of the primary components of the Hokie offense in Fuente’s first season in Blacksburg. With a fluid situation at quarterback, Ford is going to be one of the staples of the Hokie offense — that go-to wideout that all the signal-callers can depend on, no matter who is in the game at any given moment.

Not yet forty years of age, Justin Fuente rebuilt Memphis from a doormat into one of the more productive offensive teams in the country. And over his tenures at Memphis and TCU, Fuente groomed two quarterbacks, Andy Dalton and Paxton Lynch, into NFL Draft selections. Memphis got better throwing the ball every year under Fuente, and things got dramatically better in his final two seasons with the Tigers, as Lynch came into his own and the program got rolling.

While Virginia Tech largely remained a middle-of-the-road passing attack over the last four seasons of Frank Beamer’s tenure – the Hokies ranked No. 64 in passing nationally both in 2012 and in 2015, and 63rd in 2013 — things changed dramatically over that same period in Memphis…