To gear up for 2013 national signing day, SoonerNation's Brandon Chatmon is breaking down every commitment in the Sooners' 2013 recruiting class. View the full archive here.
Vitals: Running back Keith Ford, Cypress, Texas/Cypress Ranch | 5-foot-10, 200 pounds
Committed: March 3, 2012
ESPN.com grade: 87. Four-star prospect.
ESPN.com rankings: No. 29 in ESPN150, No. 3 running back, No. 4 in Midlands region, No. 4 in Texas
Picked OU over: Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida State, Texas A&M and others.
State of the position: The Sooners have to feel pretty good about the running back position with Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch returning. All three players have proven to be impact performers, and redshirting freshman Alex Ross has been impressive since arriving on campus. Nonetheless, you can never have too many running backs.
Pros: “Ford is one of the more college-ready backs this class has to offer. His physicality and style translate very favorably when projecting for the college level. He has a Trent Richardson feel to him at this stage but does lack Richardson's high school production. Ford needs to bounce back from a leg injury but is a college-ready, every-down, load-back who can get both the tough yards as well as big gainers. Should rise to the top of most boards of programs that use a power running offense.” -- ESPN scouting report
Cons: “Did not see a top-end second gear burst in traffic, or elite open-field elusiveness, but he can do plenty of damage with quick hitters and has the hands and blocking ability to play every down.” -- ESPN scouting report
Similar to/potential role: Damien Williams. Ford has the ability to be an every-down running back in the Sooners system. He’ll be able to shoulder the load while providing the versatility to stay on the field in every situation.
Expected impact: 2013. Even though the Sooners are stacked at running back, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Ford earn some touches as a true freshman. He’s ready to play, he has the talent to play, why not get him ready to shoulder a bigger load as sophomore in 2014? A redshirt season would probably help, but it’s tough to leave a talent like him on the sideline for a full season.