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Auburn's Rudy Ford says he's 'tuned in and ready to go'
March 18, 2015

Rudy Ford and Auburn in spring practice 2015

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- The guy who was listed as a running back on Signing Day 2013 led Auburn in tackles last season.

What's next for safety Rudy Ford?

New defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is changing things up, to be sure, and Ford says he's ready to adapt to whatever comes his way.

"I'm good, same position. I'm tuned in and ready to go," Ford says.

Ford fills up the stat sheet like few others. He has career stats for rushing, total offense, scoring, kick returns, interceptions, all-purpose yards, tackles and sacks.

Auburn has practiced four times this spring with an emphasis on the transition to the spirited Muschamp on defense, and an offense that needs eight new starters. Ford knows a little of both. Back in the day, Ford rushed for 73 yards, and averaged 12.8 yards per carry doing it, the same days he played in the secondary.

That's where he'll be for his junior year, coming off a 93-tackle season.

"I get the defense," Ford said. "I know what to do. I know my terminology a whole lot better and as far as my technique and stuff, it's gotten a whole lot better."

Then there's the Muschamp factor.

"He brings that whole intensity. He makes sure our effort is great, because overall as a unit, he makes sure we all fly to the ball," Ford said. "If we get all 11 guys running to the ball, we're going to track it down.

"He brings a lot to the table and makes our standard rise a little higher."

Ford said the Tigers are working on a physical spring, and he's up to that challenge.

"I had that the whole time, from high school when I played both sides of the ball," he said.

And overall, the physical play is "making us change everything. Right now, we're going to attack a lot more. We're bringing all that physical play.

"Our defense is going to change this year, so we're going to be a tough defense."

Ford may get a chance to run the ball, after all. He's in the rotation for kickoff returns, a position he landed for the final two games last season.

Why not? He said the last time he was timed he ran a 4.23 40-yard dash.

"I played in the Iron Bowl back there, and the Outback Bowl. Both of those are two big games. Coming in this spring, that's something I'm going to take over. You just learn to play for the next guy besides you. Make sure you block for the next guy.
"Playing special teams is a big part of football, too."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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