Two days after he lit up the reserves on defense in the Saturday scrimmage, Bowden was still praising Ford and his blazing speed.
"I was very, very impressed," Bowden said. "He is legitimately fast. The speed is still the speed whether it's against the first team, second team or third team. We don't have anybody that fast. I think he's really going to be a good football player."
But when asked if he was more excited to have star skill players or his entire offensive line back, Bowden presented a different area.
"The offensive line and those skill guys will win games, but the defensive line will win championships," he said. "And the objective is to win championships. … I'm more excited about the talent level defensively with just having bodies there. Now, if we can just stay healthy and get better, that will help us down the line."
However, he did offer some encouragement concerning the offense.
"It's not like we've got to add any schemes to be successful," Bowden said. "We just have to improve individual performance to get to the level we want to go."
VISITING TEAMS: Two major programs watched practice Monday to gain some knowledge on offense and defense.
Getting some new ideas on offense was the entire offensive coaching staff from Ohio State, while the defensive staff of Mississippi State took in some of defensive coordinator Vic Koenning's schemes.
EXTRA POINTS: Other than center Dustin Fry's pulled hamstring, there are no new injuries to report. … The team will scrimmage half of the practice on Wednesday. … One of the Mississippi State coaches visiting Wednesday was Ellis Johnson, the former head coach at The Citadel. … Vic Koenning said that Chris Russell and Roy Walker might get moved to "Cat" safety. He added that the play of Walker has been a nice surprise.
When Bowden starts the IPTAY circuit next Monday in Aiken, his primary point of emphasis will be the current status of Memorial Stadium. Of the $56 million needed to complete the WestZone Project, Bowden said the university has raised only half.
"The biggest thing is we've got to finish our WestZone Project," he said. "I think they're looking for money, about $27 million. That's going to be my message. It's half done."
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