Though he said he has had full support from the university during this time, he said it’s time to find a new home. The news was first reported by Soonerscoop.com.
“The past 2 years with the Oklahoma Sooners has been a great experience,” said Ford in a statement released to media outlets. “However, after my injury last season, I never fully recovered. Since that time I have had a chance to evaluate my role at OU with my family and have decided it’s time to start a new chapter.
“Despite what the suspension was about, I am currently academically eligible to another university and have been given a full release by OU.
“I would like to thank Coach Stoops and Coach Gundy for all of their support and I wish the Sooners the best of luck next season.”
A former five-star running back ranked No. 22 in the Scout 100 for the 2013 class, Ford looked like a budding star through the first three games last season.
He had rushed for 194 yards on 34 carries with five touchdowns and had eight catches for 90 yards with a touchdown. But after suffering a leg injury, he became out of sight and out of mind with the emergence of then-freshman Samaje Perine.
There has been a lot of talk about how OU’s backfield would shake out because of its depth at the spot. David Smith transferred following the end of the season and will play for Jacksonville State.
But there’s still a wealth of talent for OU at the spot for 2015. Perine is back. Joe Mixon, from all reports, had a stellar spring. Daniel Brooks might have found a home in Lincoln Riley’s offense. Alex Ross remains a home run threat every time he touches the ball, and mid-year enrollee Rodney Anderson seems like another huge addition.
A source close to the situation said the decision was made late last week with the family deciding to go public with it Wednesday.
Ford, originally from Houston Cypress Ranch, rushed for 526 yards and six touchdowns during his two-year career that was plagued by fumbling issues and injuries. When healthy, Ford lived up to the billing of his recruitment, but he could never sustain that momentum.