Ex-Sooner RB Keith Ford says he’s going to Aggieland

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Just days after saying he was leaning toward transferring to Texas A&M, former Oklahoma running back Keith Ford is now reportedly an Aggie. Ford said earlier this week Texas A&M was on the top of his list of options but said some details had to be squared away before he could officially join Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies. That appears to be taken care of now.

I’m going to Aggieland,” Ford said to 247Sports Thursday night. “What really helped me come to my decision was when I sat down with Coach (Kevin) Sumlin. It didn’t sound like it was rehearsed or anything. He was just talking to me man-to-man and laid out his expectations for me. He also wanted me to believe in him. After I heard all of that I was like, ‘Yea, I’m coming here.’ I can’t wait to get up there.”

Ford will have to sit out the 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but when he is eligible once again in 2016 the Aggies will be adding quite a talented running back. Ford, a four-star running back in Oklahoma’s Class of 2013 according to Rivals, appeared in eight games as a freshman for Oklahoma last season, rushing for 392 yards and five touchdowns. Ford’s season came to an end when he broke his leg against Tennessee in September. He was suspended indefinitely by Bob Stoops in the spring for a violation of team rules.

OU RB transfer Keith Ford says he’s leaning toward Texas A&M

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Last we checked in with Oklahoma running back Keith Ford, the Houston-area product was reportedly considering Texas A&M as his next destination.

Now there’s no “reportedly” about it. In a conversation with GigEm.com, Ford named the Aggies as his leader. “Utah has called me, Louisville is showing a lot of interest and so has U of H. Texas A&M has also reached out to me. I don’t want to leave the state of Texas so I’m kind of leaning towards Texas A&M,” Ford said. “It’s not official yet because I still need to talk with the coaches but I am leaning towards Texas A&M.”

Ford said he had a scheduled visit with Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin that could clarify things for both sides. Ford said A&M was originally his leader out of high school.

“Coach Sumlin wants to schedule a time where I can come up there and meet with him,” he said. “We’re trying to work around my parents schedule because they want to come with me but they also have to work. Coach Sumlin told me that he doesn’t take a lot of transfers but he understood that I wanted to be closer to home. Before anything, he wants to get to know me first. As a head coach to tell me that, it was great to hear.”

One transfer the Aggies have accepted? How about Brandon Williams, also a former Sooner originally hailing from the Lone Star State.

Ford played in 18 games with three starts at OU, rushing 86 times for 503 yards and six touchdowns while snaring 11 passes for 140 yards and an additional touchdown.

Two more Sooners leaving Norman

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The attrition train is unofficially on the on the tracks and on its way out again in Norman.

Sunday, Oklahoma officials confirmed that wide receiver K.J. Young had been dismissed from the football program for violating unspecified team rules.  A few days prior to that, running back Keith Ford announced his intention to transfer. A day after Young’s dismissal, 247Sports.com is reporting that redshirt freshmen defensive backs Tito Windham and Marcus Green (pictured) have left the football program.

According to the recruiting website, there “is no chance” Windham returns to the Sooners, although the door has been left slightly ajar for Green to return.

Both Windham and Green were three-star members of OU’s 2014 recruiting class.  The latter was rated as the No. 45 corner in the country, while the former was rated as the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Mississippi.

Both players used their redshirts as true freshmen last season.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

UPDATED 9:59 p.m. ET: It appears that Marcus Green is disputing the notion that he has left the program.

Oklahoma RB Keith Ford to transfer

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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.

Sooners spring game won’t showcase much of Perine, Shepard

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If you’re headed to Oklahoma’s spring game this weekend looking to catch a healthy glimpse of two of OU’s top offensive playmakers, prepare yourself for disappointment.

Head coach Bob Stoops has informed those covering the team that both running back Samaje Perine and wide receiver Sterling Shepard will be used sparingly in this Saturday’s spring game.  Perine, in particular, doesn’t sound like he’ll be on the receiving end of very many reps.

“I’ll be honest, I’m not real keen on seeing Samaje run a whole bunch,” Stoops was quoted as saying by The Oklahoman.

The reason for Stoops’ reticence to put Perine in harm’s way during what amounts to a meaningless scrimmage is obvious. As a true freshman last season, Perine led the Big 12 in rushing with 1,713 yards. 427 of those yards came in a Nov. 22 win over Kansas, breaking the FBS single-game record that had been set the previous week.  He’s considered one of the top backs in the country irrespective of class, and will enter the 2015 season as one of a handful of Heisman contenders.

Given the stance on Perine and other circumstances, OU’s spring game backfield could be a rather lonely place. David Smith decided to transfer out of the Sooner football program last month, while Keith Ford is indefinitely suspended and won’t play. Additionally, Joe Mixon is suspended from the game — he’s been permitted to practice with the team — as the fallout from an arrest last year for punching a female in the face that netted him a season-long suspension continues.

Shepard, meanwhile, missed three full games last November with a groin injury, then played sparingly in the season finale against Oklahoma State as he was held without a reception for the first time since November of 2013.Despite that, Shepard still led the Sooners in receptions (51), receiving yards (970) and receiving touchdowns (five).