2. Ailym Ford
Running Back; Freshman
5’9″ 205 lbs
A freshman phenom, Ailym Ford is the future guy for Rusty Wright to build his offense around as he builds the Chattanooga Mocs program. And after two solid starts to the season, Tennessee football is a great chance for him to truly test his abilities. So the Vols need to watch out for him and what he can do all game.
For the year, Ford already has 34 carries for 177 yards and two touchdowns. He also has two receptions for seven yards, meaning he is averaging 95 yards from scrimmage a game and over five yards a carry. That’s a great first two games for a freshman regardless of what teams he is going up against.
The real story, though, is his emergence last game. Against Eastern Illinois, he only had 12 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown. But he had 22 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown, providing a silver lining in Chattanooga’s loss to Jacksonville State since they realized they finally have a running back. That’s a huge deal and one that will benefit the team going forward.
Meanwhile, the Vols have clear issues on their defensive line. It did improve dramatically last week, but the fact of the matter is depth is still an issue, and any solid running back, no matter what level he is at, could give them trouble. So Saturday is the perfect chance for Ford to burst onto the scene and show just how great he can be.