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OU football: Keith Ford tries to remain patient while waiting his turn

The freshman running back has been impressive when he has carried the football.
by Ryan Aber Published: October 17, 2013

NORMAN — Keith Ford I wasn't sure what to make of the text message that came to his phone Aug. 5.

“It's on now,” the message said.

When the link to an Instagram video came across moments later, Ford finally understood.

That day, Oklahoma's first in pads, was when Ford's son, Keith Ford II, started to make his mark in Norman.

Running the Oklahoma Drill, Sooners defensive lineman Jordan Phillips came off a block by Dionte Savage just in time to meet Ford head on.

The freshman running back lowered his head into Phillips' shoulders and ran right through the 6-foot-6, 324-pounder, driving Phillips to his back.

Since, Ford has shown his physical style of play to Sooners' opponents, including on six carries for 34 yards against Texas.

Ford's physical play started taking shape at the Kid's Heaven day care center in Havelock, N.C., where he lived while his father, a Marine, was stationed in the area.

“They used to play this game where one of the kids would have the football,” Ford I said. “It was sort of like rugby.”

One day, his son came home a bit banged up after one of the games.

“They said if Keith's hurt a little bit, everybody else had to have been hurt too,” Ford's father said. “Keith was so rough. There's just something about when he puts the ball in his hands.”

Ford smiled this week when he thought back to the Oklahoma Drill play, which quickly went viral after being posted online.

It was a big moment for the running back who seemed to be in an uphill battle for playing time on a team with three seniors — Brennan Clay, Damien Williams and Roy Finch — at the position.

After not carrying the ball against Notre Dame and TCU, Ford returned to the rotation last week against Texas, showing a physical presence with and without the ball in the Sooners' loss to the Longhorns.

After not playing much for two games, Ford was surprised when he received the game plan for the Texas game and saw his role was going to be expanded.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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