We got a chance to catch up with Oklahoma commit Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Ranch) yesterday at the Houston Under Armour Sevens tournament. If you missed it yesterday, here’s a feature on the state’s top running back prospect.
During a talk with his father, Keith Ford Sr., the topic of Texas came up. Why was Texas never a school Ford seriously considered during his recruiting process?
“They didn’t fit at all,” he said. “They did the same things they did with Robert Griffin III, and RGIII’s parents are military too. We’re very forward when it comes to anything in life. I really wasn’t impressed with Texas at all, and Keith wasn’t impressed either.”
Ford Sr. is referring to the fact he’s a retired Marine, and both of Griffin’s parents served in the military. When asked what it was about Texas that made it a bad fit, he didn’t mince words.
“The school and the program. They appeared interested, but once Keith started asking those hard questions they were unable to answer them,” Ford Sr. said. “And they have, what, eight running backs now? It’s unbelievable. I mean, they already have [Malcolm] Brown and [Johnathan] Gray.”
As for what those hard questions were exactly, Ford Sr. said he had concerns that any parent of a running back would reasonably have.
“Is he going to start? What about playing time? We’re not interested in redshirting,” he said. “How many running backs do you expect to recruit in this class and the next class? Just typical questions any parent would ask.
“And most kids, if they’re not going to play, they’re not going to stay. We really like Oklahoma as a family and I think we made the right choice.”
Because Keith Ford and his family moved around so much due to his father's profession, he felt no urge to stay in-state. The Fords lived in Okinawa, Japan, and then Jacksonville, Fla., before moving to Cypress. How did locals feel about the ESPN 150 back choosing the Sooners?
“Not too well," Ford said. "They say I’ve got to stay in Texas. I don’t believe that. I believe I can play anywhere I want to.”
As his father put it: "We’re not from Texas, so Keith needs to go where he wants to go -- where he thinks he can play."
Despite having a loaded backfield of Brown, Gray, Joe Bergeron, Jeremy Hills, D.J. Monroe and incoming freshman Daje Johnson, Texas still secured a commitment from Kyle Hicks (Arlington, Texas/Martin) for its 2013 class.
Last year, Texas managed to get eight recruits to decommit from their pledges and sign with the Longhorns. It’s safe to say we can close the door on any chances of Texas coaches pulling that feat off with Ford.