Baldwin defensive tackle Dorien Ford has kept most information regarding his recruitment very private.
The biggest reason for that is that despite having over 20 offers, mostly from Power Five programs, Ford has known where he’ll be playing college football for quite awhile.
Thursday night, Ford let the rest of the college football know that he will be staying home and playing for Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt Panthers. Ford became the 20th member of Pitt’s Class of 2021 and is the ninth defensive commit.
Narduzzi and his staff scored a hat trick of local defensive linemen by nabbing Ford. Pitt was able to land the top 3 WPIAL defensive lineman in Ford, Central Catholic’s Elliot Donald and West Mifflin’s Nahki Johnson. Going back to the Class of 2020, when Pitt was able to land four-star Westinghouse defensive end Dayon Hayes, that’s four straight wins for Pitt with local Power 5-pound defensive lineman.
Pittsburgh Sports Now was able to talk with Ford on Thursday morning and got some insight into what led him to stay home and commit to Pitt over his other three finalists Michigan, Penn State and West Virginia.
”Pitt was my first Power Five offer. That meant something to me and it meant something to them, as well or they wouldn’t have offered me as early as they did,” said Ford. “Plus, every time I went to a Pitt game or practice, I felt like everyone around me knew who I was and that made me feel like home. I just felt like Pitt was home and where I belonged.”
— Dorien Ford (@DorienFord_21) September 17, 2020
Although he was considered a heavy Pitt lean, the Panthers coaches didn’t take anything for granted and the trio of Narduzzi, Cory Sanders and Charlie Partridge let Ford know almost daily how much they wanted him.
”Going back to the first day I was able to speak to them as a junior, they were the first school to call me and were the first coaches to come visit me personally at school,” Ford said. “They made sure I recognized that I was one of their top priorities.
”There was not one week where I fell off and didn’t have some form of communication with the coaches. They were also very good about giving me my space and were respectful during times I didn’t want to talk or have time. Before every game and even some mornings, they’d text me and say, ‘good morning’ and treated me as though I was already one of their players. That really felt good to me.”
Ford is the fourth WPIAL player in this recruiting class for Pitt and he’s looking forward to playing with instead of against Donald, Johnson and Central Valley’s Stephon Hall.
”I feel like this is going to be great. We all train with the same people and taught all the same stuff,” said Ford. “I feel like we’ve built up a brotherhood. In our gut, I think we all knew where we were going to end up going from the beginning.”
Junior Season 🙏🏽💪🏽https://t.co/c3vNnMP1eR
— Dorien Ford (@DorienFord_21) December 9, 2019
“I feel like all four of us are going to be a big part Pitt’s defense of the future. Up front, I don’t think they’ll be an offense that will be able to block us. I feel like us along with the Pitt program are going to be real good, real good.”