RECRUITING: Mission Accomplished
Louisiana’s top running back, LSU commitment Michael Ford, preparing for the rest of his senior year at Leesville
by Daniel Mingea III
Tiger Rag Recruiting Analyst
CLICK HERE to read Mingea’s recruiting blog at NOLA.com
Some kids enter their high school careers with eyes-wide-open not knowing what to expect.
If nothing else, most of them hope to be able to contribute to their team and in most cases that is exactly what they end up accomplishing and nothing more. On the other hand, there are players with a goal in mind, a four year mission set before them.
Those are the guys that want to be more than just another player. They want to be the go-to-guy when their team is looking for a play-maker late in the game. Those are the guys who end up playing at major Division-1 programs. Those are the players that mirror a Michael Ford (5-11, 205, 4.5).
Ford’s tenure at Leesville High School was a memorable one as he accomplished just about every goal he set before himself except bringing home a state title. His first opportunity of becoming the lead back came as sophomore. It was a season in which most senior running backs would be grateful to include in their player profiles. In less than a season as the starter, Ford rushed for 1,339 yards including 18 touchdowns.
From there, the four-star prospect had high hopes leading into his junior campaign, however adversity struck as he broke his collarbone after playing in only four games. Ford ended the season with nearly 600 yards on the ground and four touchdowns.
According to Ford, the injury provided him with bitter feelings. He thought people looked at him as just another running back. He claimed he felt overlooked and believed people were underestimating his abilities as a runner. In turn, Ford set a goal for himself heading into his final year of high school. He wanted to show the country he was the best back in Louisiana.
Not only did Ford accomplish that mission, he also made it clear he was one of the best running backs in the nation as he ran for 2,952 yards including 29 touchdowns. That was not the only mission though as Ford wanted to fulfill a childhood dream. He wanted to one day suit up on Saturdays.
“That was a very personal goal of mine,” Ford admitted. “I wanted to make it to college and then do bigger and better things once I got there.
“I think I did a great job of accomplishing the goal I set for my senior year too,” Ford added. “I thought everybody was doubting me and I wanted to prove them wrong. The one thing I regret though is losing last week in the playoffs. I’m very disappointed in myself. I wanted my team to win and I thought we were going to win.”
Ford’s final season playing for the Wampus Cats ended last week as his team fell to Zachary in the second-round of the playoffs, 21-19. Leesville finished the year with a 10-2 record, its best in four years. Now the dynamic athlete’s focus has shifted to track and preparation for life at LSU.
“I’m going to be running track now,” Ford stated. “I’ll be competing in the 100, 200, 4×1, and 4×2. Life is kind of laid back right now, but after Thanksgiving it’ll be straight to the weights and preparing for college.”
Ford will certainly make an immediate impact for the Tigers’ next season, but Ford is having a difficult time realizing his high school career is officially over.
“I didn’t expect it to go by like that,” Ford concluded. “It seemed like time flew by. I came into my freshman year wanting to be able to get a scholarship to play football in college, but all of the attention I received came as a surprise. That’s like life and football though, you never know what to expect.”