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Archive for Monday, August 19, 2013

Special teams standout Ford aims for KU’s starting WR job

August 19, 2013

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Kansas special teams coach Clint Bowen looks to hug receiver Josh Ford after Ford's blocked punt by South Dakota State in the second quarter, Saturday, September 1, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas special teams coach Clint Bowen looks to hug receiver Josh Ford after Ford's blocked punt by South Dakota State in the second quarter, Saturday, September 1, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas senior receiver Josh Ford is ready to be more than a special teams player.

“I’ll be a lot more tired this year,” Ford said with a laugh, “but I’m up for the challenge.”

After spending most of last season third at X receiver on the depth chart, Ford’s strong camp has put him in position to compete for a starting job.

The 6-foot-3, 207-pound second-year Jayhawk said he was running with the No. 1s at the X receiver position Monday, at least temporarily ahead of friend Justin McCay.

“We’re still competing,” Ford said. “I’m not locked down at the 1. He’s still trying to get the 1s back, and I’m trying to not go back down.”

Ford and McCay shared a class together last year and have spent many hours after workouts playing the video game “Call of Duty.”

“It’s crazy, because me and him are like best friends, but at the same time, we’re trying to see who is going to be on the field more,” Ford said. “It’s emotional when one of us is in the front and one of us is in the back. But it’s friendly competition.”

Ford, a juco transfer who made one start at receiver last year against Baylor, said his strengths at the position were being able to go up to get the ball with his size and also having the ability to avoid getting jammed at the line of scrimmage.

The Landover, Md., native made a name for himself a year ago as a special teams specialist. He racked up nine special teams tackles to go with a blocked punt and a forced fumble and said he would keep all the same special teams duties this year.

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