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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

But Ford gained 34 yards on a screen pass, setting up a Mustangs touchdown. Ford took an option pitch for a successful 2-point conversion to bring Cypress Ranch within six.

An onside kick, Ford's 36-yard reception and 5-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds remaining gave Cypress Ranch an incredible come-from-behind victory, during which the future Sooner accounted for 278 total yards and two touchdowns.

“Keith is an exceptional player,” Johnson said. “He's a very hard, physical running back, and also has the ability to make people miss.

“He's a hard worker ... I do think he's gotten better throughout his career here because of that hard work.”

The Mustangs' storybook season came to an end the next week, when they lost to OU defensive end commitment Matt Dimon and eventual champion Katy.

Following the season, Ford returned a kickoff 64 yards in the Under Armour All-America game, and shot up 65 spots to No. 48 in Rivals' final 2013 player rankings. He is Oklahoma's only 2013 commitment in the Rivals100 rankings.

“I'm sure those rankings are nice and flattering,” Johnson said. “But that's far from why Keith plays.”

Last week, OU running backs coach Cale Gundy visited Cypress Ranch to watch Ford play basketball. After the visit, Gundy called Cody Thomas, Oklahoma's 2013 quarterback commitment from Colleyville Heritage.

“He said he looked a little odd out there with his thick neck and everything,” Thomas remembered with a laugh. “He said he didn't look like a basketball player, but said he was unbelievably athletic.

“I've watched all his highlight tapes and everything. I can see him doing huge things for us.”

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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