During what will be a busy off-season, Texas senior Poona Ford has added a trip to Mobile, Ala., to his itinerary.
Ford, a six-foot, 305-pound defensive tackle, will participate in the 2018 Senior Bowl. When Ford makes his appearance at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Jan. 27, he will become the 67th Longhorn to play in the Senior Bowl. Quandre Diggs and Jordan Hicks last represented UT in 2015.
Ford, who recently signed with the Octagon agency, will participate in this weekend’s East-West Shrine Game.
“I’m really excited and honored to accept this invitation to play in the Senior Bowl,” Ford said in a statement. “Right now I am focused on Saturday’s Shrine Game and playing hard in that before heading to Mobile for the Senior Bowl next week. I’m thankful to be selected for both games and to have the opportunities to showcase my skills and prove why I am worthy of a draft pick.”
Participating in the Senior Bowl should help with Ford’s exposure ahead of the NFL Draft. Eighty-one of the 115 players — and all but one of the 17 defensive linemen — on the 2017 Senior Bowl rosters were taken in last year’s draft. Haason Reddick, O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and Tre’Davious White were among the first-round picks that accepted invitations to last year’s senior showcase.
Ford will play on a South team that is coached by members of the Houston Texans’ coaching staff. The North team will be led by Denver Broncos coaches and quarterbacked by Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Wyoming’s Josh Allen. (Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner, and Allen are both projected to be first-round draft picks).
Ford appeared in 46 games during his time at Texas, and he made 30 starts. He was named the Big 12’s defensive lineman of the year during a 2017 season in which he compiled 34 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a blocked field goal. In 2017, Texas ranked eighth nationally in rushing defense (106.8 yards per game).
Ford also served as a captain during his senior year.
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