When Pitt formally announced the early signings of Soto, Orndoff, Chapman and Jarrett to the football program, there was a curious fifth.
In addition to the freshmen enrollees, Chryst announced that redshirt freshman Dontez Ford, a native of McKees Rocks, Pa., and graduate of Sto-Rox High, has transferred to Pitt from Syracuse. Ford will work at wide receiver this spring.
Ford had made it known he was transferring before Doug Marrone took the Buffalo Bills job, so the two are unrelated.
Now, in the Big East transfers between conference schools is prohibited. So, what gives?
The ACC allows in-conference transfers. The restriction is that for the first year, the player has to be a walk-on. Dontez Ford will be classified as a walk-on this coming season as he sits out per the regular transfer rules. Now that the season is over, Pitt football gets to follow ACC rules rather than the Big East’s. One step closer.
Ford redshirted at Syracuse, and worked on the defensive side as a safety, but is now moving back to WR. Kind of surprised he is transferring to Pitt. He has an inspiring enough backstory, but it really seemed he wanted/needed to get away from the area.
Knowing it would be hard to ever fully escape the lifestyle McKees Rocks breeds if he stayed, Ford came to the decision that he would leave the area for college. In July, Ford committed to Syracuse.
“I like the location of the school,” he said. “It’s far enough for me to get away from the elements of Pittsburgh and McKees Rocks but still close enough to come back whenever I have to.”
Hopefully he came back because he wanted to. Not because he had to.