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It’s late in the evening and wondering if he has enough strength to conduct an interview after a long day that consisted of practice, a two-and-a-half conference and just fresh off finishing an interview. As he walks up, he seems elated and honored to be doing another interview.
Devante Ford is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania growing up with his mom, dad and three sisters. Ford found football watching and emulating his older cousins. “I start playing football at the age of six and all of my older cousins played football in high school and college”, says Ford, “I watched their games and just always imagined that I would play football like my older cousins.” Ford started out playing kick return and full back at an early age but because of his large body frame, defensive tackle always stuck with him
Ford now attends Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA. Standing 5’10” weighing 310 pounds, most would think he is slow and very easy to contain because of his size but players usually get blindsided about Ford’s agility. “My best attribute is my get up off the ball. A lot of people will line up against me and assume that oh, he’s slow and won’t move anywhere” explains Ford. “But next thing you know, I’m blowing past them or blowing through them”. Ford displays quick feet for a man his size. There were many plays where he separated from the block and chased the ball carrier 10 or more yards away from the ball. His undeniable quick hands gives him the advantage over offensive linemen which makes his relentless charge to the ball un-guardable.
Ford’s skill-set does not only come from his natural talent, he also tries to mimic one of his favorite players. “Vince Wolfork is my favorite player because he has the ability to beat players and get past them using his athletic ability at his size.”, mentioned Ford as he chuckles. He often gets compared to Wolfork, the defensive tackle for the Houston Texans and Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton who plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Just like those two, he’s not only making plays for himself but he’s creating space for his fellow linebackers.
His love may be for football but his heart is with his mother. His mother, like everyone else in his family displays her support for her child. Her support affects Ford just in a more special way than the others. “My mother is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy and the fact that she can still make it to my games on Saturday and she’s still able to walk and still able to drive is everything”, exclaims Ford. “Basically everything I do on the field, I do it for her and my grandmother because they sacrificed so much for me so everything I do, I just want to do it all for them.” His dad plays a part in Ford’s humility. He keeps him grounded by telling him to make sure he gets his education and make sure he walks across the graduation stage.
The morals his parents embodies has already rubbed off on their talented son. Ford’s goals are not your normal 18-20 year-old kid’s goals. “My goal is to show that guys from small schools can make it to the next level”, says Ford. He understands how important it is to be an example for players behind him. He’s already been that person to look up to, especially when he earned a trip to Daytona, Florida to the National Bowl. He was ecstatic when his defensive line coach presented him with the letter of him getting invited to the National Bowl game. “I was shocked and surprised for the opportunity.”, said Ford, ” I mean the National Bowl game in Florida and I’m from small Doyelstown, PA.
As good as he’s been, he has been shocked by all of the notoriety he has received. After feeling out his questionnaire for NFL Draft Diamonds, the agents started following him on twitter and social media then all of the attention started. “When I made my highlight tape, then that’s when I started getting the retweets and everything and I was just like wow, it was a mind blowing experience.”, said Ford. He’s not only been interviewed by The 3 Point Conversion but also by Nuts And Bolts Sports and NFL Draft Diamonds. His career is just beginning but he’s humbled as if he’s been here before.
Click here Here is Ford’s highlight film.