Penn State football has landed a commitment from Old Dominion transfer Alonzo Ford, a 6-foot-3, 272-pound defensive tackle, Ford tweeted Wednesday night.
Blessed and excited Let’s get to work!! #WeAre pic.twitter.com/CvjRmF5eqq
— Alonzo_ford (@AlonzoFord2) May 4, 2023
Ford committed to Penn State during a recent visit to the university.
Last season, Ford played in 12 games for Old Dominion, making 32 tackles (five for loss) and getting 3.5 sacks on his way to becoming an honorable-mention All-Sun Belt performer.
Ford also got a lot of playing time for Old Dominion in 2021. He ended that season with 42 tackles (3.5 for loss), half a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He also had three quarterback hurries. He didn’t play in 2020 because ODU’s season didn’t happen due to COVID-19.
Before Old Dominion, Ford played for Varina High School in Richmond, Virginia. He was a three-star recruit according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Varina is the same alma mater as Penn State Class of 2023 signee Kaveion Keys, a four-star linebacker who is three years Ford’s junior. Another Penn State connection is that Ford’s head coach at Old Dominion, Ricky Rahne, was on head coach James Franklin’s staff at Penn State from 2014-19, spending his last two seasons in Happy Valley as the team’s offensive coordinator before taking the Old Dominion job.
Penn State’s size up front has come under scrutiny, even amid an 11-2 2022 season. Franklin didn’t sugarcoat this in his postgame press conference after a 41-17 loss at Michigan last October.
“Everybody thinks they’re Aaron Donald,” Franklin said. “And they’re not.”
Half a year later, Franklin is happy with how the D-line is shaping up, but as of his post-Blue-White Game presser, he still felt there was work to do.
“We’re in a good place right now,” Franklin said. “But I think we need some more depth and more competition at D-Tackle.”
Penn State is taking a step toward meeting those objectives by adding Ford.