Throughout the entire recruiting process, offensive lineman Phil Ford has been one of the more visible KU recruits. Not only because of his 6-foot-6, 320-pound frame, but also because he’s hit the recruiting trail hard to entice others to join him at Kansas. Today, the Bishop Miege High product talks about his own goals for 2011 and sheds some light on the many talents of his future teammates.
This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.
Hi everyone. I'd like to welcome Phil Ford, offensive lineman from Bishop Miege, who signed with KU football early Wednesday morning. Welcome, Phil!
Hello to everyone, thank you for having me!
What "sold" you on coming to KU? and what made KU your ultimate choice
the coaching staff, and the welcoming environment, being able to stay close to my family and friends. It just felt right when i walked onto campus i know i will get the best education. I love the vibe i get from the stuff and students.
You may be getting ready to leave home and live independently for the first time. What are you looking forward to the most about living away from home? Also, what are most concerned about in regards to living away from home?
i am going to like living with a teammate so we can always talk football, and sports, and we will have a lot in common. I wont have to have my mom drive me everywhere. The concerns are that my mom will miss me and call me all the time.
What do you see as the biggest asset of this recruiting class? By the time this class is upperclassmen, what would b?e your goal for KU Football (what would it take to meet your expectations?)
We are all close we all have things in common, so it is easy to talk to everybody so that it will be easy to talk to the other players on the field. By the time we are upperclassmen we would love to be the big 12 champs and have a national championship. Trust is everything and i know i can trust my friends on the field and off and i trust all the coaches.
You're a big guy, but from what we see on your film it looks like you're pretty light on your feet. How hard is it to be so big and still move so well and what kinds of things have you done to help with that?
its not very hard at all really, my coaches always say to think thin, so that is what i do! I work out with a personal trainer since junior year to get me ready to take on some of the guys that are as light on their feet. But i know it will only take even more hard work to maintain my quickness.
How has having ex Chiefs center Tim Gruhard as your coach helped prepare you for the "next level?"
Mr. Grunhard has taught me a lot on and off the field, he is a great man, he has shown me the importance of being a honest man. So i know if i follow all the things he has taught me i will be great in college, with his advice i can reach all my goals and reach all of my dreams.
What do you feel will be toughest transition from high school football to Division 1 Big 12 college football?
the speed and the size of the game because in highschool i was like the biggest kid out their and that wont always be the case in college! and its going to be tough not playing on friday nights.
I know one of your best friends, Shane Ray, is going to Missouri. Has it been hard to have a teammate and close friend get set to sign with KU's biggest rival?
haha yes and no really because i will love shane ray forever his like a brother to me know,no matter what, no matter how many battles we are going to have i will be his friends and we are friends forever! we are going to love going up against each other. hes my bff 4 life
Since so many of the new recruiting class fits so well in Coach Gill's system, do you think this means fewer redshirts and more playing time for younger players than usual next year?
yes sir :) i feel that way very strongly. we have an awesome class one of the best in nation! and i promise you we are going to do great things in Lawrence!
Did last years struggles and 3-9 season ever cause you to second-guess your commitment to KU? What did the KU coaching staff say to reassure you that you made the right decision?
NO SIR, never that i was and am a jayhawk forever. i was committed to ku and i knew we were and are going to take over the big 12! they told me to keep my head up and stay with the guys! but i had always knew in my heart that i was born and raised to be a jayhawk! my best libby kieffer wants me to be a jayhawk and i promised her that i would from the bottom of my heart
Which recruits are you the best friends with?
dmiller, hes like a brother to me now! and dylan admir, jason h, and a lot of them :) really all of them, were not just friends we are a family and family stays together forever! i will always have their backs
What do you remember about the first time you met/talked with coach Gill?
i remember me having the biggest smile on my face ever :) it was such an honor to be meeting him and now even more so since he is going to be my coach.
what type of offenses have you played in? spread, pro style, option? Do you prefer run blocking or pass blocking?
i have played in pro style offenses!! i love to run and pass block but run block is the best! i like puttin people on the ground
you have played with some talented players at bishop miege. who was the most talented teammate you've had?
Justin mccay- OU sooner! and i cant wait until they come into town this fall and we get to play them! thats my boy but i wanna beat OU pretty bad
Is there any specific trait/characteristic that stands out to you about Turner Gill and this coaching staff?
he is a really nice guy, and all the other coaches are really nice and helpful they don't make you feel like a player they make you feel like a friend and you are able to come to them for anything they are there for you first and football second.
When you and the other recruits asked the coaches or current players about last years struggles, what did they say that made you believe KU is ready to come back and what are the expectations for this team for this upcoming season?
they said just keep the faith and believe in each other and trust that we will get the job done which we will! i want to win the big 12 title and a national title, i know those are very hard goals but anything is possible! just takes hard work!
In another seven months, you'll be a college football player. Are you for or against a playoff in college football and why or why not?
im against the playoffs in college football, i like the way it is now, it has been that way for years so it should not change now.
OK, everyone. This will be our last question for Phil.
what style of quarterback do you prefer protecting? a mobile, qb that is unpredictable or a pocket passer?
i love blocking for a pocket passer, that's what i did in high school, and i loved it, i want my qb to know that he is safe and i have his back. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!! Thank you everyone for asking me these question i love that so many people know who i am, so once again thank you to everyone have a blessed night!
Thanks again for your time, Phil. We'll see you in the fall!
looking forward to it, Everyone come see us the jayhwks are going to WIN!!!!!