Last week, Notre Dame made a big recruiting push for the 2023 class with its Pot of Gold initiative that highlighted top targets in the class and distributed scholarship offers to other prized recruits in the cycle. The Fighting Irish doled out over 25 offers on St. Paddy's Day to recruits across the country, and one of the sophomores in that group was Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day School linebacker Troy Ford Jr.
In the lead up to his March 17 offer, Ford had been receiving interest from ND for quite some time, and it was recommended that he reach out to the staff at least once a week to build a relationship with the Fighting Irish coaches. Ford happily reciprocated, and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman delivered the good news last week.
“I was so blown away I couldn't believe it,” Ford told Irish Breakdown of his offer. “I know [Freeman] is a good coach. I see him on Twitter all the time. He came from Cincinnati, and they almost beat Georgia last year. He also had an opportunity at LSU [over the offseason]. Those are big time schools. He's good, I can tell.”
Freeman, a former linebacker dating back to his playing days, expressed that he likes Ford as a future 'backer as well, though the specific position he could play for Notre Dame in the future is still up in the air.
“He said he wanted to use me at linebacker,” Ford said. “I'm not sure if it's inside or outside, but it was definitely linebacker. I think it has a little bit to do with if I grow more, but right now I'm in love with this linebacker spot. I can see the game in a whole different way.”
Checking in at 6-2 and 236 pounds, Ford already has the build and physique of a college linebacker despite only being in his sophomore year of high school. With that stature, he could grow into a Vyper end at the next level. But while his future on the field is one aspect he's considering, Ford was also impressed by Notre Dame's commitment to success off the field as well.
“I know their football team is outstanding, but my Mom did some research on them,” Ford mentioned. “Their academics are really good, and that's the main thing. I don't want to just depend on football. If I don't make it in the NFL, I need something to lean back on to get a job. At Notre Dame, if you get a degree from there, that's awesome because they're a good school.”
From a recruiting perspective, Notre Dame is the second school to offer the 2023 prospect, so the Fighting Irish are getting in early and establishing a relationship with a player they think can make an impact on defense. Due to the dead period, Ford has not had an opportunity to take any recruiting visits yet, so that is something the ND target is anxious to do once June rolls around.
“I definitely want to visit the teams that offered me, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame, then any other school that wants to have me on a visit,” Ford stated. “I'm trying to see campuses and meet all the coaches and players.”
Unfortunately, Ford's sophomore track season was cancelled due to Covid, so he's had an unusually long offseason to work on his skills. Still, Ford is staying busy and has joined his school's lacrosse team to keep his cardio up to snuff, and he's also playing football when he can with a local seven-on-seven team in the Savannah area with a goal of a postseason run set for the 2021 campaign.
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