RECRUITING: Mike Ford hoping for UF visit

The telephone has yet to ring at the home of Sarasota running back Mike Ford with the caller identification reading University of Florida, Gainesville. The state's leading rusher has received a lot of mail from the Gators, but has yet to secure a visit.

Last weekend Mike Ford visited Tuscaloosa to see what the Alabama Crimson Tide had to offer.

"My visit to Alabama was a 10 on academics," the 6-2, 205-pound All-State tailback said. "I'd like to major in education so I really wanted to see what kind of academic program they have. They have a great program set up there to help you academically. They told me that they help take care of me.

"As for the football program, they have a great tradition up there. Everybody in Alabama was really just so nice."

After transferring from Riverview to cross-town rival Sarasota High, Ford ran for 2,836 yards on 356 carries while scoring 37 touchdowns. He averaged 236.3 yards per game. Ford's total yardage outdistanced Mr. Florida Football winner Antone Smith, who ran for 2,813 on 238 attempts. With an average of 11.8 yards per carry, Smith was likely two carries from eclipsing Ford's title.

Ford also has South Carolina, Auburn, and Michigan State left on his visit list. That leaves one visit remaining. He would like to make Gainesville his final trip destination.

"I'd like to hear from the Florida coaches, and take a visit," he said. "That would be great. Florida has a great program that should only get better."

He told me that he is carrying about a 2.5 core GPA but needs a test score. He's not certain when he will re-take the test, but is working on getting that on the immediate schedule.

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