Since the conclusion of Lackawanna College’s (PA) season, redshirt freshman quarterback Andrew Ford has become a hot commodity.
The 6-foot-3, 211-pound quarterback has drawn interest from Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Colorado and Eastern Michigan in recent weeks. Wednesday afternoon he received a phone call and ultimately his first offer.
“I heard from my offensive coordinator and my head coach that Iowa State was definitely a place that had interest,” Ford said. “Coach [Paul] Rhoads called my head coach, Coach [Mark] Duda, yesterday. Coach Duda gave me a ring and said, ‘Hey this guy is going to call you later. Just be ready.’ Coach Rhoads called me yesterday afternoon. That was the first time I talked to anybody out there. We had a good talk, about 25-30 minutes.”
By the time the phone call was complete, Iowa State offered Ford and invited him to take an official visit immediately. Ford and his father will fly out of Pennsylvania on Friday and arrive at Iowa State for a weekend official visit.
Ford, who originally committed to Virginia Tech as part of its 2014 class and redshirted his initial season there, transferred to Lackawanna College this past summer. In his redshirt freshman campaign he went 110-of-195 (56.4 percent) passing for 1,764 yards and 23 touchdowns to six interceptions.
He will be a mid-year transfer with three years to play three.
“[Rhoads] said they have a fifth-year senior this year, so quarterback is going to be a point of emphasis come spring,” Ford said. “They think I’m the style of guy they really like. I can sit in the pocket, I like to pre-snap read, post-snap read kind of guy where I like to outthink what defenses are doing and also have the ability to extend plays with my legs. He said they broke down my film and really liked what [they] saw, not just my highlights but they watched a lot of game tape and liked what I did on a consistent basis. Obviously I’m going to sit down with the coaches this week and look at the offense and see where I fit. Everything they were telling me about it is really intriguing for me.”
Ford is self-described as more of a pocket-passer than a running quarterback that Iowa State has had in recent seasons, but added: “That doesn’t mean I can’t tuck it and run. I think that a lot of the plays I had this year that I made were down the field passes. When I would scramble, guys would get open. I didn’t run as much as I have in the past, but that doesn’t mean I can’t.”
Iowa State will graduate Sam Richardson this season from the position and as of now is set to enter the spring with Joel Lanning (as a redshirt junior) and Grant Rohach (as a redshirt senior) as the two quarterbacks with Big 12 experience.
Ford said while the Iowa State offer is his first, other schools have hinted at offers ahead of the Dec. 16 signing date.
“I’m not really sure how things are going to unfold after this [offer],” Ford said. “This is my first visit that I’m taking, the only one I have set up right now. I’m excited just to get out there, see what it’s all about and when we get back Sunday we’ll evaluate everything and go from there.”
Despite the fact that his recruitment is just beginning to heat up with major interest, time is running out on both visits and a decision.
“There’s really only three more weeks to take visits for games so we’re probably going to try to take advantage of that,” Ford said. “I’d like to have a decision made first or second week of December before signing day. But once I know, I’m not going to hesitate. I’m not one of those guys that’s going to try to rack up as many offers as possible. If I find a school I’m confortable with and my family thinks that’s the best place for me, we’re going to go ahead and make that decision. If it was up to me I’d probably say first week of December, maybe early into the second week and try to wrap this process up. Once I know where I want to be at I’m definitely going to pull the trigger.”
Ultimately, Ford said he is focused on three key factors.
“First and foremost, academics is a big part of this decision. My family is big on education, so going somewhere I’m going to be pushed academically so when football does end I’ll have a life ahead of me where I’ll have an education that means something,” Ford said. “After that I’m just looking for a chance to compete. I can’t ask for anything more than that. I just want to go to a school that gives me a chance to prove what I have and an opportunity to play on Saturdays. And somewhere that feels like home with the coaches, with the other players, with the fans, with the environment. Somewhere I can just see myself going even if I wasn’t going to play football.
"I think those are the three mains things I’m going to base this decision off of.”