Defensive tackle Poona Ford has decided to play for Texas at the collegiate level after a successful high school career in South Carolina.
David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune provided word of his decision:
Poona Ford picks Texas - http://t.co/m9yNEtNZ1e. MU's class appears to be complete at 28.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) February 5, 2014
Ford was originally committed to Louisville. But he decided to reconsider his options after Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong accepted the Texas job. As Steve Jones of The Courier-Journal points out, it was a major loss for the Cards:
4-star DT Poona Ford, UofL's highest-ranked commit via ESPN & 247, has decommitted from Cards. Will visit Texas, Mizzou, Oregon, coach says— Steve Jones (@SteveJones_CJ) January 10, 2014
The talented defensive lineman is rated as a 4-star prospect by 247Sports' composite rankings. He ranks 22nd among defensive tackles in a very strong class for the position and sixth among all recruits coming out of South Carolina.
He doesn't have ideal size for the position, at least not yet, as he's listed at 6'0" and 285 pounds. His combination of athleticism and work rate make up for that lack of an ideal frame, allowing him to catch the eye of schools around the nation.
Ford has very promising short-area speed. It allows him to get off the line quickly on the snap and leads to a lot of disrupted plays in the backfield. He also has a good amount of power for a player of his size, meaning he should be able to survive on the interior against college competition.
It's unclear if his athleticism and strength will be enough to overcome his lack of size at the point of attack. That's why he's rated as a 4-star prospect, because other areas of his game are certainly at a 5-star level after excelling against lesser high school competition.
What level do you think Ford will reach?
If Ford does decide to bulk up, he must try to do so without losing his quickness, which is a crucial part of his game. He can have a very successful career even with an undersized frame, but he must remain a good athlete who makes plays up and down the line.
He's a prospect who could probably play a rotational role right away, but it will likely be some time before he takes on a key spot on the defense. That could always change if he goes above and beyond to impress the coaching staff early on, of course.
All told, Ford is a high-upside prospect but isn't a lock to dominate in college.