Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
The Recruiting Guy:
Arkansas offers Magnolia freshman Derrian Ford
Magnolia's Derrian Ford (20) puts up a shot over Mills' Orion Virden (4) during the first quarter of the Panthers' 78-76 win over Mills in the Class 4A boys basketball state championship on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs.
Arkansas has offered a scholarship to Magnolia freshman guard Derrian Ford.
Ford (6-2, 181 pounds) also has scholarship offers from Alabama, Oklahoma State, TCU, Baylor, Oral Roberts and Fresno State while drawing interest from numerous others. He had an offer from former Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy.
Arkansas assistant coach Corey Williams informed Ford of the offer.
"It was great, it felt good," said Ford, who's expecting to talk to Arkansas coach Eric Musselman later in the evening. "I thanked God when it happened."
He mentioned the first thoughts after hearing of the offer.
"Maybe one day I could represent my home state," Ford said.
Williams thinks highly of Ford.
"He said they've been keeping up with me and I have a special talent and I have a lot of work to do, but he thinks I could go play on the next level after college basketball," Ford said. "It made me feel good and let me know I have to keep working hard, get stronger and bigger and faster."
Ford is second in scoring on the Under Armour Association circuit in the 16-under division with 22.6 points per game while playing for Little Rock-based Team South. He admitted he thought of pulling the trigger and being a Razorback
"Yes sir, but only time will tell, but I was sure thinking about it," Ford said.
Musselman previously extended scholarship offers to two 2020 in-state prospects, Fort Smith Northside center Jaylin Williams and West Memphis forward Chris Moore. Musselman has also offered former North Little Rock guard Moses Moody, who now attends school in Florida.
Ford was named the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Underclassman of the Year after leading Magnolia to the Class 4A state title. He earned MVP in the Panthers 78-76 overtime victory over Mills.
His father, Darnell Ford, was thrilled about the offer.
"I was excited just for the opportunity because being from Magnolia, Arkansas, there's a lot of Razorback fans and every day we got the question, 'Has Arkansas called?Has Arkansas called?'" Darnell Ford said.
Darnell said he and his son were hearing from former Arkansas assistant Melvin Watkins and figured the new staff would eventually reach out.
"The coaching change happened and we kind of figured be maybe a minute and we were going to keep working hard," Darnell said. "I'm just grateful and thankful to God they even called because we're going to keep working hard and representing Magnolia. Magnolia, Arkansas, loves the Razorbacks. One day, if God allows, maybe he can showcase his talents on the Hill, or whatever God has for him."
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