High School Sports

Gulfport High quarterback reopens recruitment on eve of playoffs

Gulfport quarterback Cleveland Ford throws a touchdown pass to Jalen Knight as Biloxi's Brandon Walker provides pressure at Milner Stadium in Gulfport, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Ford decommitted from Alcorn State on Thursday night.
Gulfport quarterback Cleveland Ford throws a touchdown pass to Jalen Knight as Biloxi's Brandon Walker provides pressure at Milner Stadium in Gulfport, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Ford decommitted from Alcorn State on Thursday night. ttisbell@sunherald.com File

The decision has been weighing on Cleveland Ford for some time now.

The Gulfport High senior quarterback was excited back in August when he verbally committed to Alcorn State. The Braves, he said, viewed him as a versatile athlete who could make an impact on offense or defense.

Alcorn State was placed on probation by the NCAA in October, however, for the university’s failure to monitor its progress-toward-degree certification process. The school also vacated wins involving ineligible student athletes across the athletic department and paid a $5,000 fine. When the news broke in mid-October, Ford said he reached out to the program’s coaches but has yet to hear back.

“They have a lot going on up there; too much for me to handle at this point,” Ford told the Sun Herald on Thursday night after decommitting. “No one is willing to talk about it. ... I tried to hold out because of the playoffs but I just wanted to get it over with.”

Before committing, Ford also held offers to play quarterback at Jackson State and Georgetown. He said other schools have remained in contact with him and he hopes to fully weigh his options once the Admirals’ season is over.

Ford has shown improvement as a passer this season for the Admirals, completing 52.2 percent of his attempts for 1,698 yards and 11 touchdowns against four interceptions. He has rushed for 369 yards and two touchdowns.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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