"I feel blessed."
"I've been on (Vanderbilt's) campus a couple of times and when I got there this time it felt like home," said Johnathan Ford.
"Coach Franklin is the best head coach I've ever met. I've met every last one of the players, and they all welcomed me and acted like I was family even before I was committed.
"It's a blessing to have an opportunity at Vanderbilt with the quality of the education, to be able to play in the biggest conference there is, and the possibility for early playing time. I feel blessed."
After an initial offer from Mississippi State, Ford's recruiting picked up including Vanderbilt's offer soon afterward and recently three in one day.
"When Vanderbilt offered me a couple of months ago they said they liked my power," Ford stated. "They like me as an every down back. They liked my strength and ability to switch speed in the open field. Coach Franklin said every time they brought my film up he got excited and wanted to make me a top priority for this year's class.
"I had between seven and eight offers. Purdue, Minnesota, and Arkansas State all offered me on the same day. I could have possible had more offers coming, but when I was with the [Vanderbilt] players this weekend from last year's recruiting class and the players in my class, it already felt like we were all brothers.
"Nashville is a fun city. Vanderbilt has one of the top Engineering schools in the country. It felt good to commit."
Ford, 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, is a two-way player at his high school in Madison County. He earned 3A All-State Honorable Mention recognition as an Athlete as a junior.
"I never come off the field because I'm also the kicker," Ford said. "I had 1,500 yards rushing, 250 yards receiving, and 23 touchdowns with one on a kickoff return. On defense I played safety and spur linebacker and make 79 tackles."
Growing up the Huntsville area of Alabama, Ford said his family cheered for Auburn. All that changed on a Junior Day visit in February when his parents and Johnathan "fell in love" with the Commodores while on campus. Ford was accompanied by his father and cousin on this trip to see the Vanderbilt spring game.
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