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Sunday, March 17, 2013
Volunteers impress Carolina DT

By Kipp Adams

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Two weeks ago, Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head) was in Knoxville, Tenn., to check out the Volunteers. Much like Tennessee’s recent burst in recruiting momentum for the 2014 class, the 6-foot-1, 280-pound defensive tackle recently has seen his offer list explode.

Ford was impressed by what he saw at Tennessee.

“I liked what the indoor facility, the dorm rooms, stadium, locker rooms and cafeteria were like,” he said. “I like the tutoring program and how cool the coaches were there. Tennessee is a really good place and I could see myself fitting in there.”

New coach Butch Jones and his staff have done enough to land a spot in Ford’s early top group.

“Tennessee, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Arkansas stand out to me right now,” Ford said. “I want to get up to Arkansas to learn more about them. At Oklahoma State I like how they produce players. Ole Miss is coming off a big year in recruiting, so that could put them closer to becoming a championship team. I was blown away by my South Carolina offer, which I got in person while on their campus They are my hometown team and that kind of gives them an advantage.”

Chris Wilson is recruiting Ford to Georgia, and the Palmetto State standout admits he would love to have an offer from the Bulldogs.

“Getting a scholarship from Georgia would mean a lot to me because I have a lot of family in Georgia and they would be able to come see me play,” Ford said. “Some live in Atlanta and some live in South Georgia that I know would want to come check me out. An offer would probably put them in my top five.”

Two other out-of-state offers could give the Gamecocks a run for their money.

“I visited Florida for the LSU game and they have a great crowd,” Ford said. “I have not visited FSU yet, but I really like their program.”

At the moment, Ford admitted he is focused on school and improving in the weight room rather than pay too much attention to programs early on. He hopes to visit Georgia in two weeks, and is set to take a whirlwind recruiting tour to Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Missouri during his spring break.

He feels Oregon, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State could be next to offer, and he thinks he will camp at Ohio State this summer.