September 21, 2011
Ford's Recruitment Heating Up
As the football season rolls on in the high school ranks a handful of junior prospects have already begun to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Cypress Ranch running back Keith Ford appears to be doing just that as the talented rusher has already picked up a handful of offers from some major programs across the country. Despite his team's ability to establish more of a passing attack in their second season of varsity competition, Ford sees it as a benefit to the team's ground game.
"It has been real good start to the year," said the junior standout. "Last year we were mainly a run team but this year we started out passing the ball and opening space up, getting the whole team involved to set up the run. We have some different guys from last year that have been able to step up."
Despite a lack of older players in the new program to learn from, Ford says the team has learned from the coaches that they need to step up individually to create their own tradition of winning.
"Before each game we talk about how each group needs to do their part on the field," he said Tuesday night. "Last year we didn't really have that confidence going into games because we were a new school and we didn't know how to prepare or act or carry ourselves. We didn't have any tradition from players that came before us that we could watch and learn from. This year with a little more experience and the help of the coaches we are better prepared."
When the calendar turned to September nearly a month ago Ford and his dad became proactive with the recruiting process which admittedly caused Ford some stress to his schedule.
"At first there was a ton of conversations with coaches but it has kind of calmed down some," he said. "My dad and I would call three, four, five sometimes six coaches each night. It got kind of stressful to be honest but I fought through it and we ended up backing away a little. I was staying up real late because we would call coaches and then I would stay up late doing homework. It was a tough schedule to adjust to and we didn't want my grades to suffer because of it."
Another part of the process for many juniors is attending games of programs that are vying for your services. The one program that seems to have taken an early edge in this aspect is Texas A&M who will host Ford for the second time this season Saturday as they face off with their toughest test of the season to date.
"I am going to the Texas A&M game with Oklahoma State this weekend," he confirmed. "I had gone up there for their game with SMU earlier in the year. I liked the atmosphere with the stadium and all of that and I liked that they ran the ball a lot and I am looking forward to the return trip."
Despite a growing number of juniors making their decisions and verbally committing to teams well before any decisions can become binding, Ford seems to be happy taking his time with the process and getting to know the programs a little better.
"Right now I am really just checking out all of the schools and all of the offers," said Ford of the recruiting attention. "I am just taking my time with the process and looking closely at the programs. I'm interested in mechanical engineering so I want to see what facilities each place has and take a look at it a little more from an educational standpoint."
Ford and Cypress Ranch are 3-0 heading into their game with Cypress Woods. Ford has already racked up 415 rushing yards on 54 carries along with six scores. He currently holds offers from Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Texas Tech and Utah.
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