If the portal planets align, former Armwood speedster Jerome Ford might ― might ― resume his college career in his back yard.
An Alabama redshirt freshman who appeared in only four games in 2019, Ford has entered the NCAA transfer portal and is believed to at least be considering USF. He is a first cousin of Bulls cornerback KJ Sails.
Caught in the Crimson Tide’s backfield logjam, Ford had only 24 carries for 114 yards and three touchdowns in 2019. Even if junior Najee Harris opts for the NFL, Alabama still is expected to retain top rusher Brian Robinson Jr. and five-star tailback Tre Sanders.
USF, meantime, must replace Jordan Cronkrite, who collected 1,808 yards over the past two seasons, though the tailback room is hardly barren.
Speedster Kelley Joiner (364 yards, 5.1 yards per carry in 2019) remains, as does 5-foot-5 spark plug Johnny Ford (787 rushing yards in 2018). Freshman Josh Berry, whom the previous staff considered the most talented back on the roster, also should be good to go after redshirting the 2019 season due to an ACL injury.
But the Bulls staff isn’t likely to say no to a one-time nationally touted recruit desiring to return home. Jerome Ford, who logged time at receiver and running back at Armwood, was deemed the nation’s No. 6 all-purpose back for the Class of 2018 by 247Sports.
In other transfer news, Stanford defensive tackle Bo Peek, a Plant alumnus who appeared in three games for the Cardinal in four seasons, announced via Twitter that he intends to transfer to USF.
Peek, who began his career at Berkeley Prep, was considered among the nation’s top 60 players at his position by most major recruiting services coming out of Plant in 2016.