Joe Mixon is (presumably) on his way in. Samaje Perine is still on campus for another two to three years. Alex Ross isn’t going anywhere, either. Because of those three facts, Oklahoma running back Keith Ford is transferring.
“The past 2 years with the Oklahoma Sooners has been a great experience, however after my injury last season I never fully recovered. Since that time I have had a chance to evaluate my role at OU with my family and have decided it is time to start a new chapter,” Ford said Wednesday in a statement. “Despite what the suspension was about I am currently academically eligible to transfer according to NCAA rules to another university and have been given a full release by OU.
“I would like to thank Coach (Bob) Stoops and Coach (Cale) Gundy for all of their support and I wish the Sooners the best of luck next season.”
Our astute readers will not Gundy is no longer Oklahoma’s running backs coach. He moved to inside receivers in this winter’s staff shakeup, and Jay Boulware was hired to handle running backs. Ford said his relationship with his new position coach was a driving reason behind his transfer. “It just wasn’t the right fit. His style of coaching was not my style,” Ford said in an interview with the Tulsa World. I had a relationship with Coach Gundy. I really came to OU because of Coach Gundy, because I wanted to work with him. I didn’t really know this guy and his actions didn’t fit the way I wanted to be coached.”
Ford was indefinitely suspended in March, which his parents blamed on a broken leg he sustained in a win over Tennessee last September. Add it all up and you see why the four-star recruit out of Cypress, Texas is now in search of greener pastures.
In two seasons as a Sooner, Ford played in 18 games with three starts, rushing 86 times for 503 yards and six touchdowns while snaring 11 passes for 140 yards and an additional touchdown.
The Houston product mentioned Texas A&M as a possible desination, but Keith Ford, Sr., noted the list could grow as the transfer process shakes out. “OU has already sent my transcript release (to A&M), so I’m going to be talking to them and see how their running back coach is. Just really take my time with the process,” Ford said.
Should he land at Texas A&M, Ford would be the second recent Sooner running back to make the Norman-to-College Station move, following fellow Lone Star State native Brandon Williams.