Jan. 3, 2010
Caitlin Mangum, Texas Media Relations
Senior DB Clark Ford’s role has steadily expanded since he joined the Longhorns. A former walk-on, Ford spent his early career as a member of the scout team, but quickly gained increased playing time. In 2009, he has seen action in 11 games as a defensive back and on specials teams, even earning the team’s Special Teams Player of the Game award against UTEP.
“Special teams is an important aspect of the game, and I feel like by being a part of it, I can contribute the team as much as I can,” Ford said.
And contribute he has. In August, Ford was awarded a scholarship by the coaching staff, reflecting his role on the field and impact on the team. The Richmond, Texas native was both humbled and appreciative that the work he had put in had been rewarded.
“It meant a lot because it showed that my hard work paid off and everything that I have been doing since I got here has been noticed, and the coaches recognized me for it,” Ford said.
Ford credits his coaches’ teachings and influence with the improvement in his game.
“I have learned a lot that I would not have learned if I had not come here and joined the team," Ford said. "They teach us a lot of things, small things like footwork and how you position your body to make a tackle and make a play. Each of the coaches has contributed a lot to my life and my experience on the football field.”
As a result, Ford has been a pillar of UT’s explosive special teams effort, which has contributed to Texas leading the nation in non-offensive touchdowns.
Ford, who had a blocked punt this year against Kansas, understands the effect special teams can have, especially in a big game such as National Championship.
“In big games like this, any play could change the game,” Ford said. “Special teams are where the field position changes, so any one play on special teams could change the game – a blocked punt, a long return, anything. It is really important, and I am glad that I am a part of a lot of the special teams action."
As the Longhorns prepare for the BCS National Championship, Ford is excited to get out on get out on the field in such a special game. Yet, no matter what happens on Thursday, Ford will look back at his football career with great fondness as having been a member of the Longhorn family.
“Being a Texas Longhorn is being strong, being tough, and being team-oriented,” Ford said. “It is like being in a family. It has produced a lot of memories that I will cherish forever. It is a great experience. I’ve loved it."