Illinois RB Ford Opens Recruitment, Eyes MU

There was no doubt Mizzou's impressive start and its sensational, nationally televised win was going to have a positive effect with recruits, including some who've already verbally committed but are not 100 percent sure of their decisions. One such player is highly touted four-star running back Jason Ford of Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, Illinois.

Ford, a dynamic 5-foot-11, 215 pound senior, committed to Iowa in June. But he decided recently to re-open his recruitment, and told that Missouri is one of the primary schools he wants to get a closer look at.

"I'm trying to take an unofficial visit there in a couple of weeks, probably for the homecoming game," said Ford, ranked the No. 35 running back in the nation and the No. 6 player in talent-laden Illinois.

"That was one of the schools I looked at, but I didn't hear much from them and they came in and offered me late," Ford said. "But I've liked them since I was little, I used to watch them all of the time."

Ford committed this past summer to Iowa, which has been struggling on the field. He's decided to re-examine his options, he said, "and see if there's anything better." Wisconsin, Illinois and Kansas are the other schools he mentioned as possibilities.

Ford has a prized combination of power, moves and blazing 4.4-second speed. So far this year he's rushed 159 times for 1,554 yards and 21 touchdowns in seven games. He was courted by quite a few major programs before his commitment. What could help Mizzou here is that he's friends with commitment Robert Steeples and familiar with Cahokia tight end London Davis, another Mizzou commit.

"It seems like they're really successful," he said of Mizzou. "And I play in an offense like theirs."

Ford is looking for a program not too far from home, where he feels comfortable football-wise and off of the field and could earn early playing time. We'll have to wait and see if Missouri turns out to be that place …

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