Ford, Jason

Hit11 JFordCard: Leaf Rookies 2012
Acquired: 2013, Target Autograph Memorabilia

Jason Ford was a beast coming out of High School ranking in the Top 50 nationally among runningbacks. He chose Illinois over a strong push from fellow Big 10 schools Minnesota and Wisconsin. While never rushing for 1,000 yards, and splitting time with Mikel Leshore, Ford finished his 4 year career at Illinois in 2012 with 1970 yards and 27 touchdowns- 16th on the school’s all time rushing list.  With a nose for the endzone and first downs, Jason is a stout (251 lb), downhill runner, with good hands, evidenced by his 46 receptions. He’s definitely a bam back that you bring in for those goal line and short yardage situations.

Ford was expected to be a late round pick in the 2012 draft, but due to an April 2011 arrest for driving with a suspended license, and allowing himself to be ineligible for the bowl game this past season because of academics, Jason’s stock took a blow. Jason signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent after the draft. In camp the team was worried about Rashad Mendenhall’s recovery from a season ending injury from 2011, and was trying out new blood. Jason got his chance in the team’s second preseason game, a Monday Night contest against the Indianapolis Colts. The bruiser rushed 8 times for 42 yards, prompting the commentators to remark how he looked like the second coming of Jerome Bettis. During the game, Jason pulled his hamstring and sat out the 3rd contest. The Steelers cut him after finally coming to terms with  WR Mike Wallace.  Currently, he’s a free agent, but I think he’d make a great fit for the AFL as a fullback.