"It was awesome," Ford said of the visit. "Anytime a coach from a college like Northwestern comes in, it's great."
The last time Heffner saw Ford, he was just a sophomore throwing to five-star tight end prospect Adam Breneman—a Northwestern prospect at the time. Since then, NU coaches have not visited the 6-foot-3, 180-pound quarterback.
Ford used the meeting with Heffner as fuel for his offseason workouts.
"To see the interest they have is great for me," he said, "it kind of motivated me to keep pushing this offseason."
Northwestern is showing it's close to extending an offer, after being impressed with Ford's highlight video, but will wait till seeing him throw in person. Heffner and NU offensive coordinator Mick McCall plan to evaluate him during the spring.
"You have to see the arm strength, you have to see the intangibles," said Ford. "I'm not pressing. I'm going to let it take course."
For Ford, the intangibles come in his ability to lead a team, he feels.
"You have to be smart," he said. "You have to be a leader on the field and in the classroom."
If Ford can prove his skill set is as advertised, he'll land the offer from Northwestern.