Andrew Ford isn't turning down free attention. So when college recruiters came to his school last spring to evaluate his teammate, four-star tight end Adam Breneman, Ford took advantage of the situation.
“He brought a lot of the coaches in...I got to sit back and introduce myself also,” said Ford, referring to Breneman.
Then Ford, a 2014 quarterback prospect from Camp Hill (Pa.) Cedar Cliff, took recruiting into his own hands. He visited summer camps at Penn State, Virginia, Maryland and Pittsburgh. The trips served two purposes: to get to know the campuses better and see exactly where he stood in the eyes of college coaches.
“It was cool to see the traditions and stuff, their different offenses, the terminology and how they learn it,” Ford said. “That was good to see. From feedback I was happy with what I've heard...(College coaches) said if I just focus on this upcoming season, everything else will fall into place.”
That's what Ford is doing now. Yet he's also looking forward to Sept. 1, when he can have more contact with college recruiters per NCAA rules.
While nearby Penn State's sanctions have scared off some 2013 prospects, Ford has the luxury of waiting until February 2014 to see the state of the Nittany Lions' program.
“I would like to stay close to home but I don't think that's going to be the deciding factor,” said Ford, who is waiting on his first scholarship offer. “Comfort is the most important thing. If I have to travel, I'll definitely do that. If the perfect situation came up close to home, that's something I would have to check out.”
Ford said he has been in contact with about 10 schools. Of those, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Maryland would seem to most have proximity on their side. Ford said he has been to games at each school.
“I didn't really have a favorite team but I went to games at those four schools pretty frequently,” said Ford, who added he would usually root for players he played with or against as opposed to schools.
Penn State currently has a commitment from the top-rated quarterback in the 2013 class: Christian Hackenberg from Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy. However, with the sanctions announced this summer it will be a challenge for the Nittany Lions to hold onto such a highly rated player with so many options. If they can't, the 6-foot-2, 178-pound Ford may become very viable.
“I'm 2014 so I have a couple of years to wait and see how things unfold up there,” Ford said. “Right now, I'm not going to rule out anybody. I'm going to remain open. Penn State is still a great option for me. I don't think I've lost any interest in Penn State but it is a waiting game.”
At least Breneman can give him the inside scoop at Happy Valley.