Auburn, Ala.--For Auburn safety Johnathan Ford, Friday’s Pro Day on the Plains was a huge success even though he only did one event. Injured late in the season and missing both the Iron Bowl and Sugar Bowl because of a bad ankle, Ford also missed the Senior Bowl and last week’s NFL Combine after having surgery on Jan. 31.
Measuring in at just over 5-11 and 200 pounds, Ford ran times of 4.34 and 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash to show that he hasn’t lost his speed.
“Today was great,” Ford said. “Even though I’m a consistent 4.2 guy, today was great. I was able to come back and see my boys that I came in with compete and do what we love to do. It was great.
“I don’t feel disappointed at all,” he added of his times. “I’m just glad that I came out and displayed some speed.”
The fact that Ford broke 4.4 on both runs is pretty amazing considering he didn’t even begin putting weight on his leg until Feb. 14. With very little time to get prepared he said it was all about being ready to run fast on Friday.
“A few times,” Ford said of how much practice he’s had. “Not a lot, just a few times. I didn’t want to put too much pounding on the foot. I only had a couple, two 40’s at the most, that I practiced. Mostly I was just working on my start.”
The day was the start of what Ford hopes is a strong run leading up to the NFL Draft, which will be held in Philadelphia on April 27-29.
Missing so much at the end of his career with the Tigers, Ford said now it’s all about making his dreams come true and earning a shot to play in the NFL.
“It has been really tough,” Ford said. “I really wanted to be a part of the team during the Sugar Bowl. I really wanted to be there with my brothers. I really wanted to finish the Iron Bowl. The Iron Bowl means a lot, and just not being able to finish those big games was really disappointing. I had never missed a game before or had anything like this. I’m just thankful right now that I’m back and can run. I’m really thankful and excited for the future.”