Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 12, 2014

Gerald Ford signs with Browns

VALDOSTA —

The bad news Cleveland Browns fans received Friday turned out to be good news for one former Valdosta State Blazer.
When it was learned that Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon is facing a year suspension following a second failed drug test, Gerald Ford took notice. And when Cleveland was one of the franchises that came calling Saturday night following the completion of the National Football League draft, Ford saw the depleted receiving corps as a sign that the Browns were the ideal situation for him to chase his dream. Ford was one of three Blazers to sign undrafted free agent deals Saturday night along with fellow wide receiver Seantavius Jones and defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil, both of whom are headed to New Orleans.
“When free agency gets started the phone lines go crazy,” Ford said Sunday, adding that he also heard from Houston, Indianapolis, San Francisco and Seattle. “And they make offers and you map it out, and see which team is the best fit for you. Cleveland feels like, well it doesn't feel like, it is the best fit. 
“With Josh Gordon and the NFL announcing that he's suspended for the whole year, they've got some other guys that haven't been in Cleveland for long so that's a chance for me to go in there and earn a spot and make a name for myself.”
Ford certainly made a name for himself during his career at Valdosta State. While he missed the 2011 and 2013 seasons due to being academically ineligible, Ford put up monster numbers when he was on the field. In helping the Blazers to the 2012 Division II national championship, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Ford was the best player in the Gulf South Conference. Earning GSC Offensive Player of the Year honors, the New Orleans native hauled in 69 passes for 1,026 yards and 13 touchdowns. During his freshman campaign, Ford had 41 receptions for 526 yards and four touchdowns as he was named the conference's Freshman of the Year in 2009. A year later he caught 24 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.
     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.
     

    July 28, 2014

  • Cooperstown Merchants: Weekend was a success

    Cooperstown merchants are elated about the exceptionally prosperous Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, several storekeepers said Sunday.

    During an afternoon lull in business, when the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony was taking place, area shop and restaurant owners took a quick breath, reflected and expressed satisfaction with their sales for the weekend.
     

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall of Famers thank fathers for stepping up to the plate

    Great ballplayers thanking their dads at a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about as original as oil and vinegar are to an Italian restaurant.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More