Paris Ford has been quiet about his departure from the Pitt football until today.
This afternoon on Twitter, Ford made his first public comments regarding his decision to end his college career and to begin preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Ford had this to say to his college teammates, the fans and the Pitt football program.
“To the Pitt Panther Family, my Coaches, and my Teammates.
“Ever since I was a kid playing for the Garfield Gators, I dreamt of playing for a highly regarded college football program. That dream became a reality when I decided to stay home and commit to play for the University of Pittsburgh. Having the opportunity to play in front of my family and friends, in the city I was born and raised has been a dream come true. I wanted to show those that came after me that we can be from here, we can stay here and inspire change and make a difference.
“During these trying times across our nation, like many, I’ve felt overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the future and feared how the current climate would impact me and those I love.
“Therefore, after lengthy discussions with my family, I have decided to opt-out of the rest of the college season. During this time, I will focus on completing my degree at the University of Pittsburgh- a place that will forever have a special place in my heart. I want to thank my family for guiding me to this point in my football career. I would never have gotten to this point without their support. I’d also like to thank Coach Narduzzi and the rest of the Pitt staff for giving the opportunity to play the game that I love in front of the best fans in the country. To my teammates- we’ve built a bond that can never be broken. Wherever the game takes me the memories that we’ve created on and off the field, will go as well. I’m a Panther for life.
“The decision not to return was one of the hardest decisions and was not a choice I arrived at easily. Stepping away from the programs and my team, who have become my family, have weighed heavily on my heart. However, I do believe this is the best option given the current climate.
“It is with great excitement and anticipation that as part of my post-collegiate journey, I will now officially declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.”
Ford is one of a handful of Pitt Panther players that are expected to get selected in the top portion of the 2021 NFL Draft. Ford has been projected form various NFL mock drafts of going anywhere from the 1st to the 4th Round.