Young Safety Enjoying Expanded Role

Johnathan "Rudy" Ford discusses the Auburn defense as the Tigers prepare for their first road trip of the 2014 football season.

Jonathan "Rudy" Ford (above) saw spot duty last season at running back and cornerback.

Auburn, Ala.--After spending most of his freshman season watching from the sidelines, a new season and a new position has kept Johnathan Ford busy.

Making the move to safety in spring training, Ford earned a starting spot for the opener in game one and is third on the team in total tackles with eight solo stops and five assists.

Included in his statistical line from Auburn’s 59-13 victory over San Jose State on Saturday evening was the sophomore’s first collegiate interception.

“Man, it was a blessing from the Lord,” says Ford. “I am really grateful for it and I am ready to get better each and every week.”

The Tigers finished the game with three interceptions and have four through two games.

After giving up a 75-yard touchdown pass to San Jose State in the first quarter the Tigers limited the visitors from California to just two field goals the rest of the way.

“We came back after that ready to do a better job of communicating and get back on track,” Ford said of the secondary. “We kept on battling and never gave up.”

Now 2-0 and ranked No. 5 nationally the Tigers have extra time to prepare for game three, a road trip to play No. 19 Kansas State a week from Thursday.

“That is going to be a great game,” Ford said. “It’s a long road trip to Kansas State so we have got to prepare ourselves for it and go out there and play ball.”

The Auburn safety notes that he believes the lessons learned vs. the Spartans will help the defense. “I really like San Jose State’s team,” he says. “They are a very solid team and we learned a lot from that game.”

The former running back adds that he saw improvement on his side of the line of scrimmage in game two. “I think the defense did get better,” he says. “I know back there in the secondary we were a lot cleaner. We pride ourselves on getting better each week. The defensive line, the linebackers, cornerbacks and the safeties we are all working together to try to improve.”

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