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Oklahoma football: Sooners expected to get a gem in running back Keith Ford

Ford led Cypress Ranch — in just its third season of varsity football — to the Texas state playoffs. He rushed for more than 1,700 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior.
by Jason Kersey Published: February 5, 2013

Keith Ford's remarkable senior season blazed new trails at Cypress Ranch High School.

The 5-year old school — in its third season of varsity football — made its first playoff appearance, and stunned the Texas high school football world by reaching the fourth round.

Ford also earned the highest of praise from his well-traveled and highly successful coach.

“He's the best,” said Cypress Ranch coach Gene Johnson. “I've been coaching 15 years in the state of Texas. Been a head coach 12 seasons. I've signed quite a few kids ... sent kids all over. And he's the best.”

Ford, who rushed for more than 1,700 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior, is expected to sign a National Letter of Intent with Oklahoma on Wednesday morning.

The four-star prospect — ranked by Rivals as the nation's 48th-best overall prospect — is the Sooners' only 2013 running back commitment.

With senior Damien Williams returning as the Sooners' starting running back, along with senior Brennan Clay and redshirt freshmen Alex Ross, David Smith and Daniel Brooks, Ford appears likely to redshirt next season in Norman.

“At the end of the day, it's a place he felt comfortable,” Johnson said. “He felt like the proper support was there for him to be successful academically and athletically.

“You go to Oklahoma, and a portion of it has to be the track record of producing great players, especially at the running back position.”

Ford highly enhanced his own reputation during Cypress Ranch's historic 2012 season.

After clinching their first-ever playoff berth, the Mustangs won two straight postseason games to set up a third-round showdown with Manvel, which entered the game 11-1.

The Mustangs' impressive playoff run appeared over with less than three minutes remaining that night, when Manvel held what appeared to be a comfortable 42-28 lead.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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