Ford's teammates were justifiably celebrating their 35-28 win when he decided he couldn't pass up a chance to shake hands with Bowden.
"I just had to chase him down. I just wanted to meet him. I wanted to shake his hand. That is one of the guys you look up to as a kid. I told myself I had to go and shake his hand. He is a legend. Then my brother told me I had to do it.
That is opportunity you can't pass up," said a smiling Ford.
Once Ford caught Bowden, the Florida State coach stopped, talked to him briefly, shook his hand and even hugged him. Ford came away smiling like a child who had just got his favorite present from Santa Claus.
"He talked to me, too. He asked me my name and what year I was. I started to stutter. I was like, ‘Oh, man. I am a junior.' Then he hugged me. It was a great feeling. I was talking about this since we first found out we were playing them. It was exciting to meet him," Ford said.
Wait a minute. He couldn't remember he was a junior when Bowden asked him?
"My mind went blank when he started talking. Then when he grabbed my hand, I almost didn't let go. It was a tremendous honor," Ford said.
Many of his teammates were somewhat jealous when Ford told them what he had done while they were celebrating on the field because he was the only one who sought out Bowden.
"They couldn't believe it. I took off that glove immediately after he shook my hand and said for nobody else to shake my hand because coach Bowden had already shook it. They said, ‘For real.' And I told them he touched my hand," Ford said.
He gave the glove to his mother and told her to keep if for him.
"That is something I am going to keep forever. I will never forget having a chance to meet a legend like him. It was just one of those things I decided to do and I am so glad I did," Ford said.
VAUGHT: Ford "catches" Bowden
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