Deacon Spotlight: Antonio Ford

It's well known by players and fans alike that Wake Forest recruiting coordinator Coach Mac has played a major role in developing the team oduring the past few years. As only a redshirt freshman, Antonio Ford recalls his own recruitment process and the influence the coach's efforts had on his decision.

"The biggest thing I remember about going through recruitment is how good Coach Mac recruits," the 6-3, 315-pound offensive guard said. "The thing is, he definitely believes in the players and is always going to have your back. That shows up here because he's still doing the same thing."

Though a handful of schools were looking at the Pahokee, FL native, Ford narrowed it down to three before making his final decision.

"It was a toss up between Wake, West Virginia and Oklahoma State," he said.

"Coach Mac just showed a greater interest. The other coaches sort of recruit in the same way, but he just really kept it real with me throughout the whole process. That was really the main reason why I went with them. Plus coming to the campus, meeting all the players and coaches, and seeing how it really was like a family.

"Basically wherever you feel comfortable is where you should go. You don't want to go somewhere for four years where you want to get out or not be on the team. You have to go somewhere comfortable where you know people are being real and not trying to school you over."

The redshirt freshman reflected on the changes he's seen from the high school field to the college gridiron.

"I'm not going to lie, being a student-athlete is pretty stressful," he said. "The speed of the game is way faster than high school, and the talent pool is way better. In high school, you were a better athlete than most of your opponents, but now, everyone else got recruited to college like I did, so you have to be better. Having the coaches to encourage you to do the best that you can is great. I'm trying to make the best of the opportunity I've been given."

Ford reflected on team members who have shown him support since joining the team in 2010.

"The other linemen have definitely been there," he said. "Michael Hoag, Doug Weaver and a bunch of others all took us under their wing. I think Joe Looney was the biggest inspiration for me. He was definitely a big part on and off the field."

Despite dealing with a current ankle injury, Ford has high hopes for himself and the team as a whole in the upcoming season.

"I think the whole team is going to shock the nation - I think we could really take the over the ACC," he said.

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