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Crusader 08-12-2010 02:22 AM

Ford gets raves as he battles for LSU's TB spot
Ford gets raves as he battles for LSU's TB spot
By Bob Tompkins August 11, 2010

BATON ROUGE -- Senior Richard Murphy and junior Stevan Ridley may have the edge in competition for the starting tailback spot at LSU, but redshirt freshman Michael Ford of Leesville could muscle into the picture before long.

"I like any of them right now," LSU coach Les Miles said of the tailbacks at LSU's Media Day news conference Tuesday. Murphy and Ridley have the most experience, but Ford led all rushers in the Tigers' spring game with 19 carries for 139 yards.

"Who's the best of the three?" Miles asked. "He (Ford) might be the best. We're going to have to see."

Ford drew raves from offensive coordinator Gary Crowton Tuesday for his "strength, explosiveness and speed," and he said he has "a good feeling" about him.

"He's got a chance to keep battling and then see what happens when we get to league play in the second game (against Vanderbilt Sept. 11)," said Crowton.

As for the three virtues Crowton cited about Ford as a running back:

u Strength: He benched 425 pounds and squatted

510 pounds in May;
u Explosiveness: He posted a team-best 42 inches in the vertical jump;

n speed: He has been clocked in 4.41 in the 40-yard dash.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Ford doesn't mind his position on the depth chart behind Murphy and Ridley.

"I give ownership to the older running backs," he said, noting they deserve it, having shown what they can do in games against college competition. He said Murphy in particular has taught him a lot about playing the position.

"I'm just trying to stay humble," he said. "You can't stay lax. I'm going to practice, trying to get better every day."

He called his spring game performance his "coming out party," and noted he was "trying to make a statement."

He said sitting out last season was difficult after being "the man" as a senior for the Leesville High Wampus Cats the previous year, when he rushed for 2,953 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Competing for the starting job, he said, is a battle.

"I'm fighting every day," he said. "If you want to win the job, you've got to bring something different to your game every day. I'm working hard and staying humble."

Ford gets raves as he battles for LSU's TB spot | | The Town Talk

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