Oklahoma Lands Oklahoma State DE Transfer

Oklahoma Lands Oklahoma State DE Transfer

The Sooners just landed a Cowboy. 

Oklahoma added a big piece to its 2023 transfer portal puzzle when Oklahoma State defensive end Trace Ford announced his commitment to play for his old Bedlam rival.

Ford, a first-team All-State player at Edmond Santa Fe High School, originally chose OSU over offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Florida State, Iowa State, Missouri, Oregon, Utah, Washington State, among others – but was never offered a scholarship from the Sooners’ previous coaching staff.

Brent Venables and his staff have rectified that.

Ford, a junior defensive end at OSU this season, redshirted the 2021 season after missing the whole year with a second ACL injury, and will have two years of eligibility left.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Ford earned honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades in 2020 and 2019. As a freshman in Stillwater, Ford was named the Russell Okung Award winner as the team’s outstanding newcomer.

Still battling back from injury throughout 2022, Ford played in nine games as a junior and logged 265 defensive snaps before another knee injury ended his season in early November.

He graded out at 57.2 percent overall this season, but that included an impressive 70.8 percent in pass rush situations, according to Pro Football Focus, which ranked sixth on the team. His pass rush grade was 69.6 in 2020 and 61.9 in 2019.

He finished his OSU career with 59 total tackles, 8.5 quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles, 14 passes defensed and an interception.

Ford played 486 snaps as a true freshman and 388 as a sophomore, and totaled 1,139 career snaps as a Cowboy, per PFF. His nine quarterback hurries in 2019 ranked as the second-highest single-season mark in school history.

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On Wednesday, Venables spoke of having to replace six interior defensive linemen and nine overall across the front after graduation, NFL and portal departures. Ford fits the profile nicely as an OU edge defender.

“That’s a bunch of guys all at once on your defensive line,” Venables said.

Ford joins Notre Dame transfer Jacob Lacey, who Venables said will likely play on the interior, as experienced newcomers on the OU defensive front.

“Jacob’s a guy that we really are excited about being here at mid-year,” Venables said.

Ford was also an outstanding player on special teams at OSU, with 40 snaps on various teams as a true freshman, 65 as a sophomore and 48 as a junior – the last of which produced a team-leading grade of 91.6 on punt return and field goal block units. That included a blocked punt that he returned for a touchdown against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in September.

At Santa Fe, Ford was a team captain, made the honor roll and was widely recognized as one of the top five prospects in the state of Oklahoma as a senior.

But Lincoln Riley and Alex Grinch didn’t show enough interest to offer him a scholarship, so Ford went on to have some of his best collegiate games against the Sooners, including a sack in 2019, a season-high four tackles in 2020, and 1.5 tackles for loss. He missed the 2022 Bedlam game because of injury.

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