CLEMSON - CUTigers.com talks 1-on-1 with senior wide receiver Jacoby Ford.
Sprint to the end
Ford's athletic career is marked by stellar efforts on the gridiron and track.
He won't run track after football season is over, he'll spend on preparing for the NFL Draft. That starts when he plays in the Senior Bowl next month. For now, he's focused on handling Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.
"We've been having some really good practices the last two weeks. I just think the team is ready to go out there and perform," Ford said.
"I'd love to leave a good impression on this university and on this football program."
Judging by what he's done already, he's already made a favorable impression.
On the track, he was an NCAA Champion in the 60m indoors and was an All-American outdoors. He's been a five-time All-American during the last five track seasons. Ford won 18 consecutive wins in races in the 60m and 100m in the 2008-09 academic year. Leading the first 40 meters of the race, Ford's streak came to an end at the NCAA 100m Championships when he pulled up lame with a hamstring injury.
The injury limited his work in camp before the start of the 2009 football season, leaving Clemson fans concerned about how productive he would be this season.
Now, 13 games later, he needs two more receptions on Sunday to match his career best for one season (55). This season, his 735 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions are both single-season bests for his four-year career. Ford's also rushed for his only two career touchdowns this season.
Though his all-purpose career has been slightly over-shadowed by C.J. Spiller's, he's still put up impressive numbers. Ford's amassed 1,124 kickoff return yards and 479 punt return yards with three returns for touchdowns.
In the Tigers' 40-24 win over Florida State, Ford and Spiller became the greatest all-purpose combination in NCAA history, topping Marshall Faulk and Darnay Scott of San Diego State.
With one game left at Clemson, all Ford wants is a win. Carrying a two-game losing streak to the end of the 2009 season, and a three-game losing streak in bowl games, he's ready to close on the right note.
"There's nothing we can do to change the past," Ford said. "We've just got to move ahead to the future as we get prepared for this game coming up."
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