Ford has tie to Irish

Sophomore safety Paris Ford has already landed offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Auburn. Interest has come from Notre Dame, where his brother played for Brian Kelly. The Irish visited on Monday.

Sophomore safety Paris Ford has quickly emerged as one of the top prospects in the Class of 2017.

Ford, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Seton-LaSalle High School in Pittsburgh, has already landed offers from Auburn, Bowling Green, Michigan, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple, Toledo and West Virginia. Interest has come from Ohio State, Florida, Oregon, Miami and Notre Dame.

Irish defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght visited Seton-LaSalle on Monday and have been in contact with Ford via Twitter.

“I’m a sophomore so I can’t really talk to coaches that much but I talk to them on Twitter and I’ve called them,” Ford said. “They said my film caught their eye as soon as it came on. I’m not sure what they’re waiting to offer for but they said it should be coming soon. I talk to them a lot.”

Ford has plenty of interest in the Irish.

Much of that stems from what he learned through what his half-brother, Darrin Walls, experienced as a student-athlete at the school.

“It’s definitely a blessing because he’s my brother and that’s my role model,” Ford said. “We grew up in the same household. The prestige of Notre Dame, you graduate from there and that speaks for itself. I’m trying to follow after his footsteps and do whatever it is I need to. He’s pulling strings trying to get me to go to Notre Dame and follow in his footsteps. I could see it happen; I’m just waiting for the offer.”

Ford also took the time to research VanGorder and Lyght.

He was pleasantly surprised by what he learned.

“Coach Lyght, I searched him up. He was a first round, fifth pick and on a Notre Dame championship team and played for the Rams. I didn’t know all that until I researched him,” Ford said. “VanGorder, I heard he can get the job done too. Those are two coaches I like to stay in touch with.”

Most schools are recruiting Ford to play safety although some of the mid-major programs have indicated he could play both ways at their school.

As a sophomore he caught 35 passes for 600 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also recorded 58 solo tackles and three interceptions on defense.

“Every single coach I talk to always says they like the way I come down and hit and my physicality,” Ford said.

Once school ends Ford hopes to visit several schools on his short list. The itinerary is not yet completed but he’s hoping to see Michigan and Notre Dame in June or July. He already has visited Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

Ford plans to lean on his brother for advice during the recruiting process.

“I talk to him almost every day,” he said. “He just tells me the main thing is to stay focused on school because sports will take care of itself. I’m just trying to be patient. He tells me not to try to commit too soon and not to let college coaches fool you. He said go where I want to go and where the coaches like you and stuff like that.”


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