July 28, 2011

With A&M offer in hand, Ford's stock is on rise

Spread offenses have taken the Lone Star state by storm and wide open passing attacks have been the subject of much discussion. However, the state has not forgotten how to run the ball and the running back talent continues to run deep.

The running back class of 2013 is already beginning to take shape with one prospect already making his commitment in Katy (Texas) Cinco Ranch's Jamel James. Another prospect, who also happens to be from the Houston area, rising quickly up the charts is Cypress (Texas) Cypress Ranch's Keith Ford.

Ford picked up his first offer from Utah shortly after the end of his sophomore season. Then after attending a camp at Texas A&M this summer, the Aggies decided they saw enough to extend an offer to the 5-11, 200-pound back.

"It was really exciting because I was on my way to play basketball," Ford said of the offer. "I really didn't expect it at the time so I was really surprised by that."

The Utes and the Aggies are not the only one's showing an interest in Ford, who rushed for 1,296 yards and 10 touchdowns on 229 carries. He has received interest from several top programs including the Texas Longhorns.

"I did talk to coach Applewhite, and he said they were recruiting me and they were coming down to see some of my games and everything," he said.

This summer Ford has been making the rounds attending Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas St. camps in addition to the Texas A&M camp, and each camp left an impression on the standout running back.

"We did a lot of testing (at Texas A&M). I really got one-on-one contact with the coaches. I really got to talk to them," he said. "I liked the town and how everything was set up. The campus, it was nice.

"Texas St., it was at Cinco Ranch and I again I got some one-on-one contact with the coaches

"Texas was a bigger environment. I really didn't get the one-on-one time I wanted with the coaches and everything. It was a good camp though. I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot.

"Oklahoma was kind of like a half-shell type practice. I talked with the running back coach and the head coach. I liked the facilities and the campus also at Oklahoma. It was a cool environment."

He says Texas A&M is showing the most interest right now, but at this early point in the process is thoroughly evaluating his options and taking his time.

"I'm just trying to see what school where I fit in best," Ford said. "I really don't have a favorite school. I used to be a huge Florida fan but I didn't want to go there because it wasn't the best fit."

However, he does have an idea of what he is looking for in a potential college destination.

"The thing I really want most is I really want to play and every kid wants that," he said. "And a good education, I want to get into engineering so I want to see if they have a good engineering program."

Recruiting has become a hot topic for Ford, who moved from Florida to Texas in the eighth grade, but he is quick to mention football is a team sport. In fact that's what he likes most about the game.

"The thing that really gets me going is it's a team effort," he said. "It's not really individual. I'm with the guys next to me in the huddle and we're fighting to get the same thing. That's the thing I really like. That drive keeps me going. "

He is focused on the 2011 season and has been working hard on increasing his acceleration and quickness. As a sophomore in 2010 he was named district newcomer of the year and unanimous first team all-district, but he knows improvements can and must be made as he and his Cypress Ranch teammates work towards their ultimate goal.

"The thing me and my teammates really want is to get to the playoffs. I think we're going to have a really good team this year. That's the goal right there, to get into the playoffs," Ford said. "Individually, I haven't really thought about that. I just want to get faster and quicker and make my game better by doing this stuff."

In addition to his accomplishments on the football field, Ford also runs track, competing in the 100, 4x100, 4x200, and the long jump, and he is the starting point guard for the Mustangs basketball team.

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