Cincinnati Bearcats Running Back Jerome Ford Declares for the NFL Draft

Jerome Ford escapes defense (courtesy UC Athletics)

Jan. 3, 2022

The redshirt junior from Tampa, Fla., tied the school record for single-season TDs

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati redshirt junior running back Jerome Ford announced on Monday that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

In 2021, the Tampa, Fla., native rushed for 1,319 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead the Bearcats to their second-straight American Athletic Conference Championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the 86th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

“I’m excited for Jerome and his family as they take this next step in his career,” Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell said. “I want to thank Jerome for all of his hard work and his commitment to doing things the right way for our program and the University of Cincinnati. He was a leader by example and embodied the ‘humble and hungry’ culture we have built here in Clifton. He kept defenses on their heels with his potential to score any time the ball touched his hands. I’m proud of what he accomplished on the field, but even more proud of the person he is off the field. He earned his degree and will always be a Bearcat. He was a joy to coach, and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the NFL and in life.”

Ford was named to the All-AAC First Team and collected MVP honors of the AAC Championship Game after he rushed for 187 yards and two scores in a 35-20 win over Houston.

He tied the school records for total touchdowns (20) and rushing touchdowns (19) in a single season. His 1,319 yards this season rank fifth in school history.

Ford blossomed into one of the most explosive backs in the country the last two seasons. He scored four touchdowns of at least 75 yards over his final 15 games and led the AAC in rushing yards and touchdowns in 2021.

For his UC career, the 5-11, 220-pounder rushed 288 times for 1,802 yards and 27 touchdowns. He added 29 receptions for 271 yards and one touchdown catch.

His career 6.25 yards per carry average is the highest in modern school history (since 1950), while his 27 rushing scores are tied for fifth in the UC record books. 

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