Jan. 21, 2014
Defensive end Dee Ford, right, had a big day on the first day of Senior Bowl practice.
By Phillip Marshall
MOBILE, Ala. – Sitting in their room here Monday night, reality hit defensive end Dee Ford and cornerback Chris Davis. They were no longer college football players dreaming of playing in the NFL. It was time.
Ford and Davis, powerful forces in the defense that took Auburn to the BCS Championship Game, began their quest to play in the NFL on Monday when they began practice for Saturday’s Senior Bowl. Ford was one of the stars of the day, dominating every offensive that was put in front of him. Davis had an effective day, too.
“We sit back and just talk about it,” Ford said. “It used to be a dream, but it’s reality now. To actually compete when the best is against the best is an amazing feeling.”
Ford, Davis, fullback Jay Prosch and kicker Cody Parkey will represent Auburn on the South team in Saturday’s game. Ford is considered a likely late first-round or early second-round pick in the NFL draft. Davis’ status is less certain, but he is certain to be drafted. Prosch is also considered a likely draft pick. Parkey will certainly get a chance even if he isn’t drafted.
“It was all right,” Davis said after Monday’s practice. “It was fun. It’s a business trip for me. It’s real different when you have all kinds of scouts out there with their eyes on you. You are just doing everything you can to impress the scouts.”
Ford arrived at Auburn from St. Clair County High School in 2009 as a 190-pound athlete who seemed bound for linebacker. He weighed in Sunday at 6-foot-2 ½ and 243 pounds.
“I’ve put in a lot of work,” Ford said. “To be here is just more motivation. I’m really just thanking God for where I am right now. He’s guided me through this process. I am continuing to excel. My future is looking pretty scary right now. I’m going to continue to excel and do the things God has enabled me to do. You can’t go wrong with hard work.”
Davis was not heavily recruited out of Woodlawn High School, but he became an All-SEC cornerback and one of the nation’s top punt returners. He made the play of a lifetime when he returned a missed Alabama field goal attempt 109-yards after time expired to lift the Tigers to a 34-28 victory over Alabama.
“I never forget why I’m playing this game,” Davis said. “This is a chance for me to take care of my family.”
Davis weighed in at 5-9 ¾ and 201 pounds, Prosch at 6-0 ¾ and 256 pounds and Parkey at 6-0 ¼ and 190 pounds.
The South team returns to practice today at 1:30 p.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: