Pitt spring football practices have just gotten underway but a significant player position change is already in the works.
Redshirt freshman safety Paris Ford is apparently heading for some work at cornerback this spring. Whether or not that sticks as a full-time gig is anybody’s guess. But for now, Ford is headed to corner, per the prospectus the team released.
Redshirt freshman Paris Ford, one of Pennsylvania’s most coveted 2017 recruits, enters his first active collegiate season and will work at cornerback.
Ford spoke on the switch and, as you’d expect, had no issues, per the Trib.
“I am just going to go out there and doing whatever the coaches tell me to play,” said Ford, a Munhall native and the highest-rated member of Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class. “Whatever will help the team win, I am down to do.
”It doesn’t really matter what position I am at, just as long as I am playing and on the field, I am happy.”
He’s already making plays, too.
Ford made his coaches and teammates happy by making what new secondary coach Archie Collins said were “two or three” interceptions in practice.
Additionally, Therran Coleman is making the move from corner to safety. Essentially, it’s a flip flop of those two guys with the staff apparently of the belief that Ford can make a better corner. Plus, as Narduzzi pointed out, those guys can always switch back if things don’t work out. Spring is really the perfect time to start experimenting with possible position changes.
Pitt returns most of its defense from last year but secondary is the one position seeing some significant changes. The team lost both its top cornerback in Avonte Maddox, who was recently at the NFL Combine, and also its best safety in Jordan Whitehead, who declared for the NFL Draft early. In short, help is needed at both spots.
Coleman is a guy that had earned some praise and was believed to be in the mix at corner. But he was also third on the depth chart last year and that may not have changed this season with Ford moving to corner. Perhaps he gets more of a shot to play at safety.