Isaiah Ford and Jerod Evans Declare for the NFL Draft

Jerod Evans (4), Isaiah Ford (1) and Bucky Hodges (7) have all declared for the NFL Draft. (Ivan Morozov)
Jerod Evans (4), Isaiah Ford (1) and Bucky Hodges (7) have all declared for the NFL Draft. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech quarterback Jerod Evans and wide receiver Isaiah Ford have joined tight end/wide receiver Bucky Hodges in declaring for the NFL Draft.

Hodges declared a few days ago, and Evans and Ford joined him today, with an hour of each other. First Ford:

Then Evans:

Throughout the season, there was plenty of speculation that Ford would declare early.  He’s projected to be off the board in the second or third round.  He ends his Virginia Tech career as the school’s leading receiver with 210 receptions for 2,967 yards and 24 touchdowns, all three school records.

Nobody thought about Jerod Evans leaving until information came out over the weekend, as first reported by TSL’s Ricky LaBlue on Twitter, that he was leaning towards declaring.

Evans broke numerous school records this year while completing 63.5% of his passes for 3,546 yards.  He threw 29 touchdown passes and just eight interceptions.  Evans was also Virginia Tech’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 204 times for 846 yards (that includes losses from sacks) and rushing for 12 touchdowns.

With the loss of Evans, 2017 quarterback recruit Hendon Hooker is now expected to enroll early in January, as reported by

Hooker is listed by with 28 touchdown passes (with just 5 interceptions) and 27 rushing touchdowns as a senior this past season.

Hooker and redshirt-freshman Josh Jackson are currently the only scholarship quarterbacks scheduled to be on the roster in 2017.  However, Virginia Tech has been linked with Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire, and you can bet that Justin Fuente and Brad Cornelsen will bring in at least one more quarterback to add to the competition.

One earlier report indicated that cornerback Brandon Facyson was also considering entering the draft, though Facyson has made no announcement.

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  1. I hope jerod Evans nfl career is not like Darren Evans. Darren left VT early, undrafted free agent, two years mostly on practice squads and done. Anyone know where he is now?

  2. Maybe Evans realizes that Josh Jackson is a lot closer than everyone thinks and is worried about being the number one starter.
    At least if we look at it that way the cupboard is much more than bare.

    1. If Evans is worried about competing with Jackson, he has no business declaring.
      I don’t think JJ has anything to do with this decision.

  3. To Mssrs Ford, Evans and Hodges,

    Thank you all for your hard work, sacrifice and belief in what it means to be a Hokie! We can only imagine how difficult it was to get where you were and what you went through to get there. You all contributed to the VT football program immensely!

    Go forth in life and keep Hokie ideals and values in mind as you move forward in your careers, whatever you pursue in life. If you are drafted, we wish you good luck, safety and success! Don’t forget to come back to VT early and often! Thank you!!!

    1. The best and the right response to the news is in the comment to which I replied.

      Go VT!

  4. Very incomprehensible to me too so lots of thoughts and long rants racing through my mind (Sorry)…..

    I am really disappointed these gents decided to forfeit or couldn’t realize how many more thousands of dollars they could earn had they stayed just one more year. With no Deshaun Watson, Brad Kaaya, Dalvin Cook, and likely Mitch Turbinsky declaring early to be Carson Palmers next replacement, the Hokies could have easily ran the table in 2017. Had this team reached even the playoffs or best the National Championship game it would have GUARANTEED each higher round picks, six figure contracts and early signing bonuses that these student-athletes deserve……anything else is like grey shirting or being an NFL walk on…….you just don’t get the preferential red carpet treatment IMO.

    I just don’t think this was their original plan. Ford didn’t even participate in Senior Day so his parents and family could be celebrated by the fans and the U thus would imply he intended to “walk” during next year’s ceremony. I really hope Evans and Ford might be strategically using this moment to get a free National and Professional prospective & perception on their Draft Values by “experts”. Its a BIG hope however. Meanwhile, Ford is fundamentally great and he will have an elite career but Evans’ foot work and read-progressions aren’t great (some say terrible)….man he would have prospered immensely like Paxton Lynch with just one more year…..I know he’s leaving 100s of thousands dollars lying on the table going this soon. Whether he had a good 2017 year or not….I think he would still win. Instead he has chosen to roll the dice and leverage the success of Paston Lynch and Coach Fuente’s growing reputation as a “QB Guru Developer” as proof that he can become another productive quarterback at the next level. It sounds like he plans to pitch “I only have 1 year body of work guys and see the great season I have accomplished….take it or leave it but you should really take me. Its almost a brilliant 50/50 ball but it will be a huge gamble if he fails to impress.

    Like VTHokie…
    I am “wishing you both all the luck as you reach for the NFL. Thanks for being a Hokie and helping this year’s team get back to winning 10 games and for all the thrills each Saturday. I pray you are making the right decision and wishing you the very best. We will miss you but will be pulling for you 100%. You will always be a Hokie!!!! God Bless You!!!!

  5. I was worried Evans was leaving as soon as I saw how emotional he was on stage for the Belk Bowl trophy presentation. I hope these guys all succeed in the league and represent VT well. I’ll miss Ford. He was one of my favorites.

  6. Jerod is probably thinking:
    1. has been banged up a lot already; why not get paid for it next time
    2. may have a chance to get drafted by a good team (Dallas, New England, Washington all probably looking for a QB of the future in the case of the Cowboys and Pats, and Washington needs a back up, among others)
    3. is 23 years of old on draft day, does not want to enter the draft next year at 24.
    4. will get a QB-mechanics guru to work with him the off season
    5. had a prior knee injury; why take a chance on another before he can get to the pros.

  7. Despite his own comments, i think evans is thinking CFL if not drafted by NFL. Although i admit im not sure if their league rules allow underclassmen.

  8. Great insights and thanks to all three Hokies for their 2016 Contributions ( PS don’t forget about being a Hokie Club member upon inking that contract).

    Let’s Go Hokies!!!

  9. Good Luck to all three.

    so how much of our total offense does this represent? My over/under would be 78% – Leading rusher, leading passer, leading receiver – Rushes by Rogers and McMillan and others the only thing left, plus a few snaps by Motley.

    Next year could be rough – oh well, we’ve been through rougher. Go Hokies!

  10. Best of luck to all 3 of these young men, and many thanks for their efforts on behalf of VT.

    Having said that, I’m perplexed by all 3 decisions to varying degrees. Long explanation follows……

    Ford’s was the easiest to understand. He’s a record-setter and was projected to go in the second or third round. That means some serious money. Had he chose to come back, there was the downside of getting injured. But there was also the significant upside of becoming a first round pick. Additionally, he comes from military, conservative, work-ethic oriented parents who are unlikely to be pushing him to grab the Benjamin’s. I think it’s obvious he and Evans talked, and that he knew of Evans’ decision. Given that, Ford probably figured he had little chance of adding significantly to his resume next year with a rookie QB throwing to him. Evans’ decision effectively killed whatever upside there might have been in Ford coming back.

    As for Bucky, he’s a great raw talent but still very much a work in progress. That topic has already been thoroughly discussed in this space. He had an awful lot to gain by coming back for another year to polish his game. Maybe the “gods gift” mentality resulted in his self perception being greater than that of most objective observers? Who knows…

    Evans’ decision seems absolutely incomprehensible to me. Like Hodges, he has great talent but is also very raw. He is clearly not ready to be an NFL QB. Hands-down, he had the most to gain by coming back for another year to hone his skills. I think he got some questionable advice

    I’ll admit that I know nothing about the financial situation of these three young men and their families. It’s quite possible that played into some of the decision-making.

    Regardless of their motivations, I wish them well. We owe them that!

    I guess we’ll get to see more of what CJF and his staff are made of next year when they field a team with a rookie QB.

    Happy New Year and Go Hokies!

  11. Evans may know something we don’t? The ACC apparently was to have 4 of the top 5 QB’s in the draft; Watson and Trubisky are gone, but maybe Jackson and Kaaya are staying, leaving Evans as one of the top 3 or 4 QBs? May be old news.

  12. Of all the guys going early, Evans is the only one I think is making a mistake. That said I hope he proves me wrong and has a good NFL career

    1. Totally agree. Don’t think he’ll transfer to the NFL well at all. Terrible mechanics, will get picked apart by NFL dbs

  13. No guarantee Evans would have looked better next year without Hodges and especially Ford….he might have been thinking his stock is as high as it will ever be…plus he’s older having gone JUCO…best of luck to you Jerod!

    Thanks for the Great Season!

  14. Although I am sad to see Evans go, it appears to me he ask the NFL to evaluate his potential and received a fairly good rating i.e., 3rd or 4th round pick. Why else would be declare? Got to have that NFL eval.

    1. NFL evaluation only tells you if you will go first or second round and I highly doubt he was rated that high

  15. Jarod – wishing you all the luck as you reach for the NFL. Thanks for being a Hokie and helping this year’s team get back to winning 10 games and for all the thrills each Saturday. I pray you are making the right decision and wishing you the very best. We will miss you but will be pulling for you 100%. You will always be a Hokie!!!! God Bless You!!!!

  16. cant blame Bucky with Kiper so high on him. Ford is great young man. just hope it pans out. Evans is a big question mark. has to be more to this story. I wish him well but do not see him as a NFL guy yet. needs more development. Wonder if he made the decision thinking about what Ford was going to do

  17. Evans thinks he smelled the Benjies, but it was really an illusion. Bad advice = bad decisions. We move on.

  18. Evans will regret this decision. While he clearly has a ton of raw talent, he just as clearly isn’t ready for the NFL. And NFL teams don’t have the patience to draft QBs
    for talent alone with the idea of taking the time to develop them. He probably wouldn’t even get drafted.

    1. I loved Logan Thomas, but he’s a good example of this. Last I heard, he was joining some NFL roster as a TE, which so many said he should have been much earlier, due to his mechanics.

  19. Very surprised about Jerod. Another year under Coach Fuente would have allowed him to develop into something really special at QB. Leaves the team with a little bit of a dilemma with no experience at the position. Wish him luck, but not happy about his decision.

  20. Hodges will go early, probably 2nd or 3rd round, but I don’t think he will be super successful. He’s an amazing athletic talent but not the best route runner and drops too many balls. Also seems undisciplined. He needs more time to develop. Because of his talent, some NFL teams will take a chance on him.

    Ford has incredible skills and will be successful.

    Evans will not be successful. I love him and thank hime for all he did for VT, but he is not an NFL-ready QB and I’m not sure he even gets drafted. NFL teams do not develop QB’s anymore. Ask Logan Thomas. There are maybe 3-5 starting QB positions open each year. Evans is not one of the best 5 QB’s in the draft. I think if he does it wil be late, 6th round or UFA. He probably will never see the field. I think if he came back and had a huge SR year he could have raised his stock to 3-4th round, maybe 2nd round, but right now he’s getting some bad advice.

      1. agree. i have been saying it. If he gets picked up, he won’t get reps and won’t get the personal attention needed. Teams – whether they have QB coaches or the OC is a QB coach don’t put a lot of personal individual development that we might think into the 3rd string QB. And every year, teams are typically looking to replace the 3rd string QB with the next challenger.

  21. Yep, wish him well as he was a great Hokie if even for 1 year. Do think he’s making a huge mistake as another year under JF with even better stats would assuredly make him a higher pick than he will be this year. I think he will look back in life and really regret giving up the Sr. year but who knows his personal situation, may really need to support someone and have cash now.

    1. If his grades weren’t god enough to continue, he wouldn’t have been able to play in the bowl game. The kid also went to the USAFA.

    2. Would not think that was an issue given he originally went to Air Force Academy out of high school?
      I find his decision puzzling as I didn’t read any of the draft gurus saying he would be high pick in the draft? I would have thought another productive year would have moved his draft stock up nicely!
      Oh well! Wish him the best of luck with the Big Boys!

  22. Of course we wish them the best, but that doesn’t keep me from being ticked about it. Ford and Hodges I can to some degree understand, but Evans coming in and playing one year and bailing? I don’t get that.

    I do think Jackson is a dynamite qb with tons of potential. He’s probably looking forward to his opportunity this year.

    1. Not hiring an agent only applies to Basketball. If a guys declares for the NFL there is no going back.

      1. I think your incorrect, can undeclared as long as money does not exchange up until 1/16. Not that it will matter IMO

        1. I believe you are correct… long as these guys do not sign, accept cash advances, or cars from their “representation” they could rescind their announcement in contrast to Bucky’s announcement which mentions that he selected (aka signed) with Lagardère Sports Agency.

          My 2cents worth.

          1. According to this link, it looks like their eligibility is gone once you declare whether you hire an agent or not.
            “A current student-athlete loses amateur status in a particular sport by asking to be placed on the draft list or supplemental draft list of a professional league in that sport. Amateur status is lost even if the athlete’s name is withdrawn from the draft list before the actual draft, the athlete is not drafted, or the athlete is drafted but does not sign an agreement with a professional team.”

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