Jordan Ford, a defensive back from South Carolina, was a recruited prospect coming out of Calhoun Falls High School, but like many other graduating seniors he didn't have qualifying scores to be eligible for Division 1. After playing his final season for Calhoun Falls in 2010 and graduating in the spring of 2011, he spent the next year away from the game while working on his academics. In 2012, he connected with Monroe College in New York, and wound up playing five games for the Mustangs before a broken ankle ended his season.
"It was a long road to get there," Ford said. "I got in touch with the coaches there and worked out getting in to school. I got on track academically, and I think I played pretty well even though we only won a couple of games."
Ford had 14 tackles , five pass break-ups and an interception in his brief time in uniform. He is fully recovered from that setback, and is in hot pursuit of his dream of a Division 1 career.
"Coach Mitchell and West Virginia got in touch with me, and I am very interested in them. They are my number one right now. Coach Mitchell is a great guy. He's the kind of guy I would love to play for, and the kind of coach that can help me grow into a great person."
Ford took his first trip to West Virginia for the Gold-Blue game on Saturday, and he liked what he saw.
"I like the campus, and the stadium is a good size. They had a good turnout from the fans for a spring game, and I would like to see it when it's full. They are redoing the weight room, and when it's done I think it's going to be really good."
Ford's unusual path has him in position to begin play in Division 1 this fall, provided he graduates from Monroe.
"I'm on track now, and if I keep it up I'll get my AA degree, he said. "That would let me play this fall, and that's what the schools that are looking at me right now would want me to do."
In addition to West Virginia, Rutgers is also showing interest, and Ford may take a visit there in the next week or two. He also has an offer from Appalachian State, and is beginning to hear from South Carolina. Still, West Virginia is at the top of his list at the moment, and he could provide another option for a team looking for help at cornerback. at 6-2 and 185 pounds, Ford is a bigger corner who can both jam receivers at the line and run with them downfield, and if he is immediately eligible he could give the position another boost.
"I think I have good instincts," he said of his strengths at corner. "I can move around some, and I with my size I can get physical at the line."
At this point, Ford's recruitment appears to hings on his eligibility and ability to earn a degree. If that works out, West Virginia stands an excellent chance of adding him to the Class of 2013.