Jabin Ford has been a big-time playmaker for Taylor County the last three season, but he has certainly stepped it up a notch in his final year of high school football. The senior is one of the leading rushers in the state with 589 yards and 13 touchdowns on 70 carries, while also throwing for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns as well.
You can always rely on the 2021 student-athlete to make a big play, and last Friday against Manchester it was his versatility on defense that came to light. Manchester was driving down the field threatening to score. They dropped back for a pass where it sailed down the middle, and that’s where the savvy senior from Taylor County pick off the pass. Ford had touchdown on his mind right away, and quickly broke off to the right sideline. Several Manchester players closed on Ford, but the senior hit the jets and slipped between two would-be tacklers, then used his blocks and speed to pull away for a touchdown.
In a game where the final score was 27-17, it was a huge play, and helped Taylor County secure a 4-0 start to the season. A few days later the big interception return was selected as one of the top plays in the state where Ford eventually finished #3 in the community vote.
No doubt, Ford has Taylor County off to a great start to the year. He’s certainly improved over the last season, despite this offseason’s many hurdles with Covid-19.
“The offseason during Covid-19 was a bitter sweet time. I was not able to attend the numerous camps I was invited to which limited my exposure. However, I used the extra time to put on weight, work on throwing mechanics, work on speed and agility, add more explosiveness to my game, and watch film,” he said.
The senior believes that he has matured a good bit over the last year both in the film room, and also as a leader.
“I believe I have made the most improvement in the areas of leadership and decision-making. I believe what separates my game is my high football IQ, my field vision, exceptional cutting ability, and speed.”
He has the offense humming right now averaging 37.25 points per game, and it’s his execution under center that has been instrumental. Taylor County is a run-heavy team only throwing the football 7 times per game, but Ford has made defenses pay averaging a whopping 27.25 yards per completion.
“I also make great decisions with the ball and I am accurate with my passes,” the senior added.
No doubt Ford has good quickness, and we have always liked his deceptive running instincts in the open field. There is definitely an added explosive element to his running this year, and he is consistently breaking off long plays – chief example is the interception he returned last Friday.
Ford models his game after one of the greatest running quarterbacks of all-time.
“I try to model my game after Lamar Jackson by making the defense respect my legs and my arm also.”
Tonight, Taylor County host Macon County in a top 10 matchup here in Class A Public. Macon County won last year’s matchup, but seniors like Ford seem to have Taylor County on a different track to success here in 2020.
Tonight’s game also marks the 5th game of the regular season for Taylor County, which makes this week officially the halfway mark. With that in mind, we asked Ford what are his goals for the 2nd half of the season.
“My primary goal for the remainder of the season is to continue to be a great leader for my teammates. Also, I would like to end this season with a state championship, which has never been done at my school. Making the All-State team is also a goal for me.”
This year does appear to be more wide open than ever in Class A Public with several perennial powers stumbling out of the blocks, creating a vacuum for teams like Taylor County to move up the top 10 and making a push deep into the playoffs. We certainly think this squad is a talented bunch with a hard-nosed approach, and having one of the best runners in the classification in Ford under center makes their option attack even more dangerous.
On the recruiting front, Ford has been hearing from Reinhardt, Columbia, Alabama A&M, Ohio Wesleyan, Culver-Stockton and Sterling College. Those schools are consistent with our projection with Ford, but the number is certainly down due summer camps being shutdown. In our opinion, an athlete like Ford would have certainly tested out well at combines in front of colleges, but these should trust their eyes.
The film from this fall so far shows the versatility and explosiveness that Ford can bring to a college, and we think more coaches will recognize the play of the senior, so stay tuned to @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear the latest on Ford and the rest of the athletes across the state of Georgia.
Interested in recruiting Jabin Ford? Click HERE to visit his Recruit Georgia profile.