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Pitt in the Pros

Former Pitt DB Paris Ford Signs With Professional Team

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Paris Ford. Pitt Football

Paris Ford wasn’t picked up by the UFL, but his professional football journey isn’t over.

Ford — a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Pittsburgh, Pa. — was signed Friday afternoon by the Massachusetts Pirates of the Arena Football League. It’s the first professional opportunity that Ford has received since his time in the USFL last season.

It’s a major development for Ford, who previously played for the New Jersey Generals in the USFL. But it’s also pending an upcoming June 18 hearing with magisterial judge Armand Martin after Ford turned himself into police on March 27.

Ford was charged in March with two counts of aggravated assault, one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and one count of recklessly endangering another person. The two counts of aggravated assault differ in that the first deals with Ford attempting to cause harm and the second deals with the use of a deadly weapon during the alleged assault, which police say occurred on March 15 on the 800 block of Third Street in Clairton, Pa.

The upcoming court case will shed more light on the future of his playing career.

Ford made strides in the Generals’ secondary last season, racking up 53 tackles (38 solo), two tackles for loss, an interception, three pass breakups, and he once again emerged as one of the hardest-hitting defensive backs in football.

The Generals selected Ford in the fourth round of the 2022 USFL supplemental draft, but he didn’t play much during his initial season in the league. His 2023 campaign was his first major professional campaign, the most he played since his third season with the Panthers.

According to PFF, Ford allowed just a 72.9 pass rating when targeted (fifth among USFL safeties), 0.40 yards per coverage snap (third) and had an open-target percentage of 44.4% (fourth).

Ford, who left Pitt in the middle of the 2020 season, spent the summer of 2021 with the Los Angeles Rams after joining the team as an undrafted free agent. He did not make the club coming out of training camp and did not play elsewhere that fall.

In four seasons at Pitt, redshirting in 2017, Ford racked up 136 tackles (89 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions (with one returned for a touchdown), 10 pass breakups and three forced fumbles.

Ford was a first-team All-ACC selection during his redshirt sophomore season in 2019 but left the Pitt program in the middle of the next season, following the team’s loss to Notre Dame on Oct. 24, 2020. But he still earned second-team All-ACC honors.

Massachusetts is 5-3 (5-2 in conference) through the halfway point of the AFL season, and the Pirates will continue the season Saturday afternoon with a matchup at home against the Tulsa Oilers.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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kevin
kevin
24 days ago

Best of Luck!
Sure wish you would’ve received better advice and remained at Pitt for another year to develop mentally. Who knows what could have been.
H2P!

Toledo Window Box
Toledo Window Box
23 days ago
Reply to  kevin

Agree I thought he was pretty solid player but seems like he has some bad influence around. Hopefully he gets turned around in this new opportunity

Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
24 days ago

Worst of luck to this guy.

A quitter, and a thug. Selfish and dumb.

Definitely not a good Pitt Man.

Jake
Jake
24 days ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

So the man made poor decisions and you hope he continues making bad decisions and his life gets worse?

Sounds like you’re a thug. Selfish. Dumb. Definitely not a good Pitt Man.

Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
24 days ago
Reply to  Jake

Poor decisions? The guy has a felony gun charge. That’s not jaywalking.

Defend a guy that quit on Pitt mid-season and now had felony gun charges. Defend a guy that quit on OUR team. Keep projecting on others for his bad decisions.

He’s a selfish bad apple. Thug.

Sorry to disappoint you, sometimes no how badly you want to defend “your guy”, people are never going to be good for your organization.

Giovanni
Giovanni
23 days ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

A bit harsh — and a felony ‘charge’ is not a conviction. Innocent until proven guilty. Ford played quite well for Pitt and was fun to watch. Leaving the team earlier than he should have I’m sure was a regrettable decision, as we ALL have made in life. I give him a lot of credit for trying to advance his football career after facing so much adversity. Cut the kid some slack.

Last edited 23 days ago by Giovanni
Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
22 days ago
Reply to  Giovanni

“I give him a lot of credit for trying to advance his football career after facing so much adversity.”

What else is he going to do?

He’s not exactly Wall Street material.

I love people that spout off about “haven’t you ever made a mistake?”

We all have. But the difference is they don’t include getting cuffed and booked…

Toledo Window Box
Toledo Window Box
23 days ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

A good Pitt man? Get over yourself

Joe
Joe
24 days ago

A lot of talent. He should have stayed at Pitt for his full eligibility and Pitt should have had him with a almost full-time mentor. These guys go through a lot of trauma – we don’t know their full background & some people just need a lot of extra help.

Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
24 days ago
Reply to  Joe

“These guys go through alot of trauma”?

Please expand on this.

What about the building he shot into? Did those people experience trauma too?

Menotyou
Menotyou
23 days ago
Reply to  Joe

“These guys”? Who?

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
23 days ago

If he’s making $775 a game I guess you are a pro, but is it worth it on your body? At some point you gotta give up the dream. He’s not an NFL player

kevin
kevin
23 days ago

It’s a shame because he and Lamont Wade never improved after HS. Both were way too slow for NFL. H2P!!!

Let’s Believe
Let’s Believe
22 days ago

Root for the comeback not the downfall. His book isn’t written yet. I’m hoping for the comeback story!

Let’s Believe
Let’s Believe
22 days ago

Anyone who gets a thrill from other people’s struggles is the real loser. When you have to tear down others to build yourself up, there is seriously something wrong with you internally. Wishing nothing but the best for the young man.

Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
22 days ago

I hope the people that he shot at feel the same way.

Dude was wanted by police and waited for something like a week to turn himself in.

What are we missing here?

I’d like to know what his teammates thought after he quit following that skull dragging against ND.

Real stand up guy…

Giovanni
Giovanni
22 days ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

So says, KB, ‘The Hanging Judge’…

Let’s Believe
Let’s Believe
21 days ago
Reply to  Giovanni

Kelvin Byrd aka Judge Judy!

Let’s Believe
Let’s Believe
22 days ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

Ok Judge Judy

Let’s Believe
Let’s Believe
21 days ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

You missed one key word in your rant… “allegedly.”

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