Virginia sophomore wide receiver Joe Reed touched the ball just six times during his freshman year. But Virginia still hopes his skills will help improve the Cavaliers short passing game.
“His yards after the catch last year were crazy,” senior quarterback Kurt Benkert said according to Richmond.com. “I’d throw him a 5-yard out, and he’d break three tackles and go for 40.”
It was a very small sample size, but Reed hauled in four passes for 77 yards, which gave him an average of 19.3 yards per catch in 2016. His ability to make defenders miss is something Virginia is expected to use a lot this fall and help keep Benkert upright and healthy all year.
“The big thing, we want to protect him, want to take hits off him,” Virginia quarterbacks coach Jason Beck said. “The more we can get the ball out of his hand, to keep him from taking those hits, it’s going to be the best for our offense.”
Reed is a former 3-star recruit from Charlotte Court House, VA. Standing at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, he was ranked the 107th-best wide receiver and 19th-best recruit from Virginia in the 2016 recruiting class.
The sophomore receiver and the Cavaliers will look to improve upon their passing offense which ranked 10th out of 14 ACC teams, averaging just 239.3 yards per game. They were also 12th in the conference in scoring, posting 22.5 points per contest.