It’s the middle of April, and the countdown to the college football kick-off has already begun. Utah football has already begun planning for the 2018 season with a series of spring intramural scrimmages designed to get players back into playing shape for summer and the rest of August. Utah’s offense has been the star of the spring scrimmages, and fans should expect the same great things from the offense heading into the 2018 season, especially from freshman offensive tackle, Nick Ford.
Standing at six-and-a-half feet tall and weighing in at 315 pounds, Ford was used to being the best on his high school football team. Due to his early enrollment in school, Ford was competing at a level miles above his opponents, and was quickly recruited as a defensive tackle (turned offensive lineman) by the Kyle Whittingham-led Utah Football.
Though the now-offensive tackle left San Pedro High School (California) after being named the Marine League Defensive Player of the year, and logging as many as 56 tackles, he found himself on the bench most of his freshman year with the Utes. However, despite his extensive time on the bench most of last year, the coaching staff at the U could not think higher of Ford and his level of talent. And believe it or not, their love of Ford is why the Utah coaching staff has been waiting to play him.
Although the coaching staff kept Ford on the bench even in the blowout game versus San Jose State, they are convinced this special athlete has a long and prosperous career ahead of him. By keeping him benched throughout his freshman season, the coaches were able to preserve four years of game eligibility with Nick Ford. With the added game eligibility, and his growth as a college level player, coaches can expect Ford to make a strong case for a spot on the “starting five” over the course of the preseason months.
After the graduation of left guard, Salesi Uhatafe, a few adjustments will have to be made in regards to Utah’s offensive line. Additionally, right tackle Darrin Paulo is out this spring due to a nagging injury, resulting in more practice reps for Ford. Necessary changes to the offensive line, as well as player development in the spring could mean that the college football stage is set for the talented freshman Nick Ford to make his entrance for Utah football. With talent, work ethic, and drive like California-native Nick Ford’s, there isn’t a reason why he wouldn’t prove himself to be a necessary part of Utah football’s starting offensive line, and college football fans should expect to see him in 2018.