On the Level

"I'm really liking Illinois," said Scout.com's No. 16 prospect in the midwest, Jason Ford. "I just went to their spring game last weekend. It was my third time there. I had a great time. I got to hang out with Marques Wilkins (wide receiver) the whole day. It was great. He showed me the facilities and the campus. The campus is fantastic. I was impressed..."

It's all about location for Jason Ford, the 5-foot-10, 215 pound running back from Althoff Catholic in Belleville (Ill.), who received his eighth offer this week from the Colorado Buffaloes. But the Scout.com four-star prospect says he wants to stay in the Midwest, close to home.

"I not leaving the Midwest," Ford said. "I think the farthest I'd go is six to eight hours away. I want to be able to come home anytime I want and I don't want to have to jump on an airplane to get here."

Fords says. At least for now, he has narrowed his favorites to four - Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, in no particular order.

"I'm really liking Illinois," said Scout.com's No. 16 prospect in the midwest. "I just went to their spring game last weekend. It was my third time there. I had a great time. I got to hang out with Marques Wilkins (wide receiver) the whole day. It was great. He showed me the facilities and the campus. The campus is fantastic. I was impressed.

"The game was great. They looked really good, a lot better than last year. I got to talk with Coach (Reggie) Mitchell (assistant head coach/running backs). He said I'd have a chance to play as a freshman. It was good to hear that.

"Iowa's up there," Ford said. "They offered in early March. Coach (Kirk) Ferentz is a really good coach, a smart coach. I talk to Coach (Eric) Johnson (recruiting coordinator/tight ends) the most though. He's a great guy.

"I'd be coming into a good situation at Iowa," he added. "They're losing two or three running backs next year, so I have a good chance of seeing the field right away. I went to their junior day a couple of months ago and got to sit down with Coach Ferentz. It was great. I told him that I watched the Hawkeyes a little bit when Fred Russell played. It was so cool. I felt like I was talking to my buddy — I couldn't believe how comfortable I was.

"I like Minnesota too," Ford said. "I got the offer last month. I think they are recruiting me the hardest right now. I want to take an official (visit) there for sure. Minnesota is known for producing great running backs for the NFL, so I want to check out the school at least.

"I really like Coach (Tim) Brewster. He's a great guy. He's just really easy to talk to. It's important to me that the coaches are down-to-earth, wherever I go. They have to be truthful and on-the-level. I don't like coaches who feed you a line a bull because that's what they think you want to hear.

"Wisconsin was on my top list, but they've dropped a little," Ford said. "I haven't been in contact with them much recently. I went to junior day there and had a great time. I want to go back there on an official, I think. I just want to check out the campus and facilities again.

Ford, who reports a 2.0 GPA, says he wants to commit before his senior season so he can concentrate on his studies. "None of the schools are really focusing on my GPA, but I do know I have to get it up," he said. "I'm waiting for my ACT results that I took on April 14. I'm also planning on going to summer school for math and science. I'm just going to work as hard as I can to get my grades up to where they need to be."

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"I have ten offers right now," said Scout.com's No. 16 prospect in the Midwest, Jason Ford. "Boston…

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