Ford Motoring in New Role at Pitt

Redshirt Freshman from Steel Valley excelling at corner & kick returner

Jeff Hathhorn
April 07, 2018 - 4:45 am
Paris Ford

93.7 the Fan

As Pitt spring practice started, we told you about the move of Paris Ford from safety to corner.  Head coach Pat Narduzzi said he could switch back to safety, it would depend on who is he believes his best 11 are.  Ford said he will do whatever for the team and just wants to play.

Play he has or at least practice he has, Ford says he leads the team with 8 interceptions during March and April workouts.

“I feel real comfortable,” Ford said.  “I feel like I’ve been playing with these guys for years now.  It’s just like the continuity and the bond we are building on and off the field and it is transitioning into practice.”

And Ford said he thinks the vibe around the secondary has been great.

“Not just me with interceptions, there are guys right behind me,” Ford said of work at practice.  “Jason Pinnock, Dane Jackson, Damar Hamlin, Bricen Garner, a lot of guys are getting interceptions.  Dennis Briggs got one today.  We are all getting our hands on the ball and that’s what Coach Collins and Coach Sanders are planning this season.”

Ford believes new secondary coaches Cory Sanders and Archie Collins have brought a new confidence to the group, along with new ideas of how to play.

“Our technique and our swagger, playing with confidence, knowing we can shut someone down,” Ford said.  “Knowing we can defend this route.”

Ford said he personally could improve his leadership on the team, saying he’s been slacking there but will get better.  Ford also said he’s been the primary punt and kick returner so far.  The job is open after All-American Quadree Henderson left for the NFL Draft.

“I love that, because those are ways to get in the end zone,” Ford said.  “And I love scoring touchdowns.”

His senior year at Steel Valley High School, Ford scored 22 touchdowns, five different ways.  I’m sure after giving up 24 passing touchdowns last season, Narduzzi would be content if Ford just helped prevent scores.