Ford thriving at Iowa Western

Phil Ford was always one of the most exuberant members of the Class of 2011 for the Kansas Jayhawks.

A 6-foot-5, 330-pound offensive tackle from Roeland Park (KS) Bishop Miege, Ford is close friends with several members of the Kansas squad, and when he signed his name to a national letter of intent in early February it marked the fulfillment of a long-held dream.

He was set, locked and loaded, ready to come to Lawrence, Kan. – until life intervened.

Failing to qualify academically, Ford instead headed to Council Bluffs, Iowa and Iowa Western Community College. Now redshirting for the No. 4-ranked Reivers, the big lineman is back on track - in the classroom on the field.

The decision to redshirt wasn't made immediately, Ford said, but after careful consideration.

"It was just pretty new for me to get adjusted to a new offense," he explained. "They run the same type of offense as Oregon – very fast tempo."

At first, the adjustment off the field was considerable as well. Affable and social by nature, Ford soon found his niche.

"It was weird at first just meeting new people here in Iowa, and being out here in a different state and all that," he said.

Ford remains in frequent contact with several Kansas staff members, and his passion for the Jayhawks hasn't diminished one iota. Despite the best efforts of some other programs to get involved with him - including Kansas State - he's still firmly set on donning the Crimson and Blue.

"I talk to Coach (Reggie) Mitchell and Coach (Turner) Gill, and even Coach (J.B.) Grimes sometimes, probably once or twice a week," he said. "I tell them how I'm doing in practice, how my day is going and stuff."

"I'm not interested in those other schools," Ford added. "I'm still going to come there." Top Stories