AUBURN, Ala. -- Dee Ford has been through a lot in his five years at Auburn.
Ford was named first-team All-SEC/Todd Van Emst photo
He helped the Tigers to the 2010 BCS National Championship, went through last year’s 3-9 season and subsequent coaching change, and has led this year’s team to a 12-1 record, SEC Championship and a berth in the BCS title game.
The senior plans to use his experience to spread a message of perseverance.
“We definitely have the opportunity to sell the message of last year to this year and what it takes to really be a champion,” Ford said. “And things are not just going to happen when you want it to happen. Everyone wanted to win last year. And we put ourselves in position practice-wise to win games, it just didn’t happen. It’s so hard to win in this league.
“This team has a lot of influence right now, and we can relay that message to anybody: just keep fighting and follow your dreams.”
Ford, who graduated from Auburn Saturday, overcame a preseason injury that kept him out of the first two games to total 26 tackles and lead the team with 12.5 tackles-for-loss, 8.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hurries.
He sacked Johnny Manziel on the final play of the game to preserve a 45-41 win over Texas A&M, and terrorized Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray including a hard hit on the final play to force an incompletion and give the Tigers a 43-38 win.
Ford believes the experience of winning a national championship three years ago for him and Auburn’s other seniors will be a big benefit for the Tigers as they begin practice early next week.
Dee Ford interview 12-8-13
"We're going to be able to really tell them things that we wish we would have done and things we did well, as far as preparing,” Ford said. “...I think the biggest thing in winning a national championship is really focusing. It’s not really planning to win, it’s focusing every week.”
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