Ayele Ford, the junior running back from Victorville, Calif. has been overshadowed by the fact that this year’s race for the starting running back position has boiled down to sophomore Byron Marshall and incoming freshman Thomas Tyner. While the opportunity to start will always be open to the best available player at the position, Forde still maintains a “next man up” type of mentality, which has served him well heading into the season.
“I think it’s pretty good,” said Forde following practice this afternoon. “I feel like I’m doing good and I’m heading into the right direction, but it’s still early.”
Forde continued by talking about how he feels the team as a whole has been doing in fall camp and why they don’t listen/care about what “outsiders” say in regards to some weaknesses that may have been left by former players.
“We don’t really pay attention to outside people because obviously they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Forde said. “As a unit we’re all competitors and we’re all going for the number one spot. We’re all working it, but we’re all pushing each other and cheering each other on.”
Vying For Playing Time
“I feel like I have a good shot to play more,” Forde said. “I feel like I could contribute more to the team when it actually matters. So I feel like it’s open for a lot of guys.”
“Special teams is where I first started playing most of last year,” Forde said. “Special teams is a big part for me and I’m trying to get more on special teams. I feel like we’re all trying to play special teams right now and I love special teams.”
Forde may currently be sitting at the third position on the Oregon depth chart, but with his added experience from last year along with his openness to play on special teams if need be, there looks to be a good opportunity for Forde to increase his minuets accordingly. Oregon has been known to switch around players from offense to defense, so keep an eye out for Forde because if one thing is for sure, he will be on the field one way or another.