Kyle Ford is in the catbird’s seat with a future as bright as any as he enters his senior season.
The 4-star receiver from Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.) is one of the most highly coveted prospects on the West Coast, and these days, it seems as though he can name his wish and see it granted.
Need an example? Ford linked up with Orange Lutheran quarterback Ryan Hilinski (committed to South Carolina), as well as fellow top recruits Graham Mertz and Dylan Morris to shine in The Opening finals, so much that Ford finished as the MVP at the elite high school football showcase in Frisco, Texas. When asked after the event by ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren about which schools he’d still like to speak with, he listed Florida State as a prime candidate.
Four days later, the Seminoles offered him a scholarship. In-state rival Miami followed suit two days after that.
For Ford, the priorities are as expected: He wants to play early in his college career, and to pick the school that will help him prepare for life after football.
“You can only play this game for so long,” Ford told CBS Sports after the conclusion of The Opening. “One day it’s going to end. What are you going to do from there?”
Rated as the No. 6 receiver prospect in America (per 247Sports), Ford isn’t ready to commit, still setting his schedule for official visits this fall. He has 27 offers, per 247Sports, from the majority of the nation’s top programs.
“I’m wide open on everything, honestly,” Ford told the Orange County Register’s Dan Albano. “Right now, I’m just letting things play out a little bit.”
As for suitors landing within his scope, Ford listed half a dozen off the top of his head in Frisco.
“I think the main ones that I visited and took a little more serious, like Oregon and Colorado,” Ford told CBS Sports. “Michigan, I went out there, obviously I’m pretty high on them. USC, UCLA. Those are just a couple of them, but I’m pretty much open to anything. I’ve just got to go take the visits. I’ve also been talking to Ohio State, that I really like.”
In the meantime, he’ll reunite with Hilinski and their Lancer teammates for another promising season in a Southern California region loaded with talent. Their schedule has few weaknesses, with meetings with Corona Centennial, St. John Bosco, Mater Dei, Servite, JSerra Catholic and Mission Viejo awaiting the Lancers. In 2017, Orange Lutheran finished winless against the aforementioned five opponents.
But with Ford and Hilinski — who combined to hook up 91 times for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns last season — leading the way in 2018, the Lancers remain a team that cannot be overlooked. And it’s just the beginning of Ford’s time in the spotlight.