Ford fueled for NFL future

#2 to strut his stuff at NFL Pro Day

By Micah Johnson

Many collegiate football players dream of playing in the NFL. Daiquone Ford, senior running back for the Oiler football team, has this dream and is working to make it a reality.

Ford is preparing for his first NFL Pro Day on March 2 in Toledo. A Pro Day is an event where college prospects who were not selected in the draft can showcase their skills for NFL scouts.

Ford says that he has been preparing tirelessly.

“I have been working out with Coach Chad Wagner, the head strength and conditioning coach at UF.  My hope is to be in tip-top shape when my pro day arrives,” Ford said.

Ford has much to be proud of as he finishes his football career at Findlay, earning many honors including a selection for the 2015 All-GLIAC Football Second Team his senior year.

Playing professional football is not an easy goal. Many Division I athletes go on, but for those who play at smaller, less recognized schools, the journey can be more complicated.

The goal is by no means impossible, however, as evidenced by the Oiler’s own Harold Jones-Quartey who has made a name for himself in the NFL playing strong safety for the Chicago Bears this past season.

Rob Keys, head coach of the UF football team, described what it takes to make it to the next level as a Division II athlete.

“The biggest thing is your work ethic. Our program, in season and out, creates a great work ethic and is no different from a major college’s work ethic,” Keys said.

Keys went on to say that the NFL is more open to small school athletes than people might think.

“If you look at the game-winning interception in the Super Bowl last year, it was a Division II cornerback. Regardless of what level you played at, the NFL wants to find the total package, and sometimes the total package is found at a smaller college,” Keys said.

Ford says that he would find ultimate fulfillment in being able to provide that total package to an NFL team.

“My goal since I was a little kid has been to play in the NFL.  I would be doing what I love for my job and I know that I could wake up happy everyday doing that,” Ford said.

Ford’s ambition is not just to play in the NFL.  He also wants to be able to care for his family with the money he would earn from an NFL career.

When asked what keeps him going, besides the idea of helping his family and achieving his dream job, Ford credited his faith and quoted Proverbs 16:9 in the Bible:  “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

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