Ford ready if Ridley isn’t reinstated
Freshman back increasing time in film room
With the eligibility of Stevan Ridley still up in the air for the Cotton Bowl, Texas’ prize bowl game could be the coming out party for one of LSU’s young running backs.
And the lead candidate to receive the majority of the carries if Ridley’s appeal is unsuccessful would be Michael Ford.
The redshirt freshman finished the regular season as LSU’s second leading rushing running back with 259 yards and three touchdowns.
Ever since news of Ridley’s potential absence began making waves through the LSU locker room, Ford has been preparing himself for the large stage of Cowboys Stadium.
“I’m very ready. I’m practicing going out there,” said Ford. “[The coaches] prepare you for that.”
With additional time to focus on football after the school semester ended, Ford said he has been spending a great deal of extra time in the film room in order to gain an edge on Texas A&M.
But between the white lines during practice, the freshman back said that Ridley and the other running backs have been taking the same number of reps they would normally take during a regular practice week.
“We don’t know [if Ridley will play], so we’re preparing for both,” said Ford.
But even if Ridley is sidelined, other members of the offensive unit continue to stress confidence in Ford as well as LSU’s other reserve running backs.
“We’re going to be ready,” said wide receiver Terence Toliver. “You’ve seen Michael Ford and [Spencer Ware] play significant time this year, so I think we’ll be ready without Ridley if he doesn’t play.”
Even though Ford would likely see more touches if Ridley is not reinstated, he acknowledges it would be better for the team if the squad’s leading rusher is able to go, and he would like to see that happen.
“He’s our big leader, and we’re looking forward to him playing,” said Ford.
The Tigers will receive final word on the status of Ridley when he participates in a conference call with Chancellor Mike Martin and members of the NCAA appeals division Jan. 4.