Engineering a Commitment

Dontez Ford committed to Syracuse University on Thursday night and we had the pleasure to speak with him for quite some time about why he committed to the Orange. As he continued to walk us through his journey to today's announcement, it became extremely evident that this young man will become a big success.

Dontez Ford, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound safety from Sto-Rox High School in Mc Kees Rock, Pa., made a commitment to the next 40 years of his life on Thursday night by committing to Syracuse and explained to us why it was so important to him to be a part of that particular university.

"Syracuse was the first offer I received and I visited there with Deaysean Rippy last summer," Ford said. "Coach (Dan) Conley is good friends with my high school head coach, so I know that I have someone take care of me while I'm up there as a player."

Ford approached the recruiting process much differently than most prospects do and walked us through what he looked for and targeted in terms of importance.

"I really went out and did my own homework on schools and I didn't spend much time focusing on the football programs," Ford added. "My time was spent researching the academic institutions themselves and their reputations, especially in the field that I want to be a part of."

That field, Environmental Engineering, is one that Ford is obviously very passionate about as he spoke about it with vigor.

"Environmental Engineering is what I wanted and Syracuse offers that major, so when I visited in June I took that opportunity to tour their Engineering School," Ford explained. "After visiting, I definitely feel as though I'd be able to balance a high level of football and the highest level of academics as well and that is important to me."

We asked the defensive back how he discovered his passion.

"Well, my father works in construction, so I've always been into building things and I got very interested in Civil Engineering early in high school," Ford stated. "My sophomore year in high school I did a five-page paper on the subject and then I stumbled across Environmental Engineering during my junior year with my teacher, Mr. Krajcovic. He's definitely a fanatic when it comes to Environmental Science and at that point we started talking about Marcellus Shale Drilling in Washington County, Pa., and I watched a movie called GasLand (a documentary by Josh Fox), so that just taught me a lot about the subject."

"At that point I just kept looking into it own my own and believe I can find more efficient and safer energy and water solutions through different tactics."

Ford went on to talk about what else he really liked about Syracuse.

"Syracuse will allow me to be an academic first and a football player second, but trust me, I have great love and passion for football," Ford assured us. "I really liked the campus and was comfortable in the fact that it's not that far from home. Playing in the Big East on a defense that was ranked in the Top 10 in the nation last year is something I'm going to love. Also, I want to contend for that Big East Championship every year and maybe even a National Championship at some point."

"I also love the environment at Syracuse. It wasn't just some of the people there that I liked, it was all of the people. The players, the coaches and the students were all themselves with me and didn't care what others thought of them. They talked to me as if I was an adult and there was a mutual respect. It was just an overall great experience visiting Syracuse."

Ford is also a public speaker for his school who has been asked to talk to legislators and politicians. Syracuse has added a very, very impressive young man to their school and football team.

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