Wide Receiver/Return Specialist
Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Fork Union Military Academy
Cardinal Newman High School
The NCAA 2008-09 60-meters indoor champion had a streak of 18-straight wins in 60 meter and 100 meter races over the indoor and outdoor season, but has also excelled on the football field. He not only proved to be a capable deep threat receiver, but also had great success on end-around plays, averaging 8.52 yards rushing with the football. Even though return duties was not his full-time job, Ford returned two punts and one kickoff for touch-downs during his Tigers career.
Juggling two sports can be tiresome for most athletes, but Ford conditioning and stamina made it seem like a "day at the office" for the speedy flanker. One of the fastest players in college football, his track pedigree is evident by his ability to simply explode past press coverage, gobble up the cushion and get behind the defender in an instant.
Even though Ford did not become a full-time starter until his senior season at Clemson, he ranks sixth on the school career-record list with 143 receptions and fourth with sixteen touchdown grabs. He also placed sixth in Tigers annals with 1,124 yards gained via kickoff returns and closed out his career as the school's sixth-leading all-purpose back, totaling 4,083 yards, an average of 85.06 yards per game.
As his playing time gradually increased at wide receiver, Ford was not used as much on special teams, but he was credited with twenty tackles (17 solos) performing on the coverage unit. His ability to escape even the speedy cornerbacks saw him register 29 receptions for 20 yards or longer during his last three seasons.
Ford earned All-State second-team honors during his two seasons lettering in football at Cardinal Newman High School.
The Palm Beach County All-Star game MVP caught 22 passes for 560 yards as a senior, with ten of those catches resulting in touchdowns.
The prepster was regarded as a highly touted track performer rather than for his exploits on the football field. He was the 2005 Florida state champion in the 100m (10.32) and 200m (21.25) as a senior, his only year with the school's track and field squad.
Upon graduation, Ford attended Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia in 2005. At the Fork Union College Coaches Combine, he clocked an incredible 4.126 in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time of any player in a program that produced 87 National Football League players and two Heisman Trophy winners over the years. He was rated the 17th-best prep school player in the country by Rivals.com and the 36th-best wide receiver by Scout.com.
In 2005, Ford returned seven kicks for scores (four punts, three kickoffs) and had 57 catches for 1,254 yards and nine touchdowns. He also rushed 12 times for 306 yards and three scores. Head Coach John Schuman called him "the fastest player ever at Fork Union."
Ford enrolled at Clemson in January of 2006 and went through spring practice, as he benefitted from the camp to acclimate to Clemson football. Even though he did not start any of the thirteen games he appeared in, he earned second team Freshman All-American recognition as a returner by Rivals.com and Scout.com and honorable mention from The Sporting News. Clemson's Special teams Player of the Year also made contributions as a reserve "A" receiver behind Chansi Stuckey.
Ford averaged 32.8 yards per kickoff return, a figure that would have led the Atlantic Coast Conference and been in the top five in the nation if he had enough attempts to qualify (13 returns in 13 games). He also caught fifteen balls for 187 yards (12.47 ypc) and a pair of scores, adding 104 yards on eight rushing attempts while leading the coverage units with ten tackles (7 solos).
Ford started five of the eight games he played in at slot receiver in 2007. He was averaging 18.92 yards on 17 receptions with four touchdowns while gaining 172 yards on 14 carries (12.29 ypc). On special teams, he had a 9.0-yard average on punt returns and a 26.38-yard mark on kickoff returns before he was sidelined.
Ford started 8-of-13 games at flanker in 2008. He became the team's top deep threat, ranking second on the team with 55 receptions for 710 yards and four touchdowns, adding 96 yards on 18 rushing attempts. He produced five solo tackles while averaging 5.2 yards as a punt returner and 18.41 yards as a kickoff returner. He amassed 1,181 all-purpose yards, which ranked 11th in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Ford started all fourteen games for the Tigers, earning second-team All-ACC accolades as a senior. He led the team with a career-high 56 catches, good for 779 yards (13.91 ypc) and six touchdowns. He scored twice on 18 rushing attempts, completed two passes for 55 yards and a score, returned one punt for a touchdown and averaged 19.3 yards as a kick-off returner. He closed out his final campaign with 1,218 all-purpose yards. **
CAREER NOTES **
Ford started 27-of-48 games at Clemson, catching 143 passes for 1,986 yards (13.89 ypc) and sixteen touchdowns…Carried 58 times for 494 yards (8.52 ypc) and two scores…Had 49 punt returns for 479 yards (9.78 avg) and two touchdowns…Gained 1,124 yards with a score on 47 kickoff returns (23.91 avg)…Completed both of his pass attempts for 55 yards and a touchdown…Recorded 20 tackles (17 solos)…Averaged 85.06 all-purpose yards per game and 13.75 yards for each of 297 touches, finishing with 4,083 yards…Combined with tailback C.J. Spiller to become the most productive duo in NCAA Football Bowl Sub-division history, as that pair accounted for a combined 11,671 all purpose yards during their four years together at Clemson…His 143 receptions rank sixth in school history behind Aaron Kelly (232, 2005-08), Derrick Hamilton (167, 2001-03), Rod Gardner (166, 1997-2000), Terry Smith (162, 1990-93) and Perry Tuttle (150, 1978-81)…His 1,986 receiving yards rank eighth on the Clemson all-time record list and his sixteen touchdown catches tied Terrance Roulhac (1983-86) and Derrick Hamilton (2001-03) for fourth in school annals…Registered the sixth-best career total by a Tiger with 4,083 all-purpose yards, as his 1,124 yards via kickoff returns also rank sixth in school lore…His six touchdown grabs in 2009 tied Glenn Smith (1950) and Terry Smith (1991) for ninth on the Tigers season-record chart…Averaged 32.77 yards per kickoff return in 2006, the fifth-best annual average in school history…His 92-yard punt return vs. Florida Atlantic in 2006 was the second-longest by a Clemson player, topped by Richie Luzzia's NCAA-record 108-yarder vs. Georgia in 1968…His 94-yard kickoff return vs. Louisiana Tech in 2006 was the 12th-longest in school annals. **
2009 SEASON **
All-American third-team choice as an all-purpose back by The NFL Draft Report…Added All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team honors from the league's media…Started all year at flanker, leading the team with a career-high 56 receptions for 779 yards (13.91 ypc) and six touchdowns, as fifteen of his catches gained at least 20 yards…Carried 18 times for 122 yards (6.78 ypc) with a pair of touchdowns, as five of his attempts were for 10 yards or longer…Completed both of his pass attempts for 55 yards, including a 32-yarder vs. Wake Forest and a 23-yard touchdown toss vs. Coastal Carolina…Returned ten punts for 143 yards (14.3 avg) and a touchdown, adding 174 yards behind nine kickoff returns (19.3 avg)…Scored 54 points and recorded three solo tackles, including one each vs. Georgia Tech, Boston College and South Carolina…On 93 total plays, Ford generated 1,218 all-purpose yards, an average of 13.1 yards per attempt and 87.00 yards per game. **
2008 SEASON **
Ford started eight games at flanker, ranking second on the team with 55 receptions for 710 yards (12.91 ypc) and four touchdowns…Seven of his catches were for 20 yards or longer, as he also generated 96 yards on 18 carries (5.33 ypc) that included two attempts for more than 20 yards…Returned 12 punts for 62 yards (5.17 avg) and 17 kickoffs for 313 yards (18.41 avg), compiling 1,181 all-purpose yards…Scored 24 points and recorded five solo tackles – two each vs. The Citadel and Georgia Tech and one in the Wake Forest game). **
2007 SEASON **
Ford appeared in the team's first eight games, starting five contests as a slot receiver …Finished with 310 yards and four touch-downs, as five of his seventeen receptions (18.92 ypc) were for 20 yards or longer… Totaled 172 yards on 14 carries (12.29 ypc), as four of those attempts generated at least 20 yards…Picked up 108 yards on 12 punt returns (9.0 avg) and 211 yards on eight kickoff returns (26.38 avg)…Recorded two solo tackles – one each vs. Maryland and Central Michigan…Gained 801 all-purpose yards, an average of 100.13 yards per game. **
2006 SEASON **
Second-team Freshman All-American selection as a returner by Rivals.com and Scout.com, adding honorable mention from The Sporting News...Ford was Clemson's Special Teams Player of the Year, but he also made strong contributions as a reserve "A" receiver, appearing in thirteen games behind Chansi Stuckey…Recorded ten tackles (7 solos) as he returned 13 kickoffs for 426 yards (32.77 avg) and a touchdown…Added 166 yards and a score on 15 punt returns (11.07 avg)…Ranked sixth on the team with 15 receptions for 187 yards (12.47 ypc) and two touchdowns…Also carried eight times for 104 yards (13.0 ypc), as he amassed 883 all-purpose yards (67.92 ypg) and scored 24 points…One of just three players in Tiger history with a punt return and kickoff return for a score in a career.
Attended Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy in 2005, playing football for head coach John Schumann, who called Ford, "the fastest player ever at Fork Union."…At the the Fork Union College Coaches Combine, he clocked an incredible 4.126 in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time of any player in a program that produced 87 National Football League players and two Heisman Trophy winners…Rated the 17th-best prep school player in the country by Rivals.com and the 6th-best wide receiver by Scout.com…Returned seven kicks for scores (four punts, three kickoffs) and had 57 catches for 1,254 yards and nine touch-owns…Also rushed 12 times for 306 yards and three scores. **
HIGH SCHOOL **
Attended Cardinal Newman (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Don Dicus…Earned All-State second-team honors during his two seasons lettering in football…The Palm Beach County All-Star Game MVP caught 22 passes for 560 yards as a senior, with ten of those catches resulting in touchdowns…Regarded as a highly touted track performer, he was the 2005 Florida state champion in the 100m (10.32) and 200m (21.25) as a senior, his only year with the school's track and field squad. **
Graduated in December, 2009 with a degree in Sociology…Brother, Davy, played at Florida State and scored on an 82- yard run vs. Clemson in 2000, the longest vs. a Tommy Bowden-coached Clemson team...Born 7/27/87…Resides in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.