Missouri ace recruiter: Cornell Ford
Missouri cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford is an essential part of Gary Pinkel’s staff at Missouri. Fortunately for them, the two have a long history together. Ford is currently in his 20th season coaching alongside Pinkel.
The Gary, Ind., native has coached up a secondary that may not have the big names like other SEC secondaries, but the Tigers still make the big plays. In 2013, Mizzou led the SEC and was fifth nationally with 20 interceptions.
He’s has eight all-conference selections under his tutelage and is responsible for recruiting the Illinois and St. Louis areas.
Ford’s top all-time commits at Missouri
- Five-star DT Sheldon Richardson, Visalia, Calif. (2009 class)
- Four-star QB Blaine Gabbert, Ballwin, Mo. (2008 class)
- Four-star OT Nick Demien, Wentzville, Mo. (2010 class)
Primary current targets
- Five-star DE Terry Beckner, Jr., East St. Louis, Ill.(2015 class)
- Two-star CB Elias Cane, Nashville, Tenn. (2015 class)
- Two-star OLB Ferrod Gardner, Dayton, Ohio (2015 class)
- 2014: $297,500
Notable coaching stops
- 1996-00: Toledo, receivers
- 1993-95: Marietta College, QB/RB/WR
History with Tigers
Ford came into the Missouri football program along with head coach Gary Pinkel in 2001. Altogether, they’re in their 20th season together and 2014 is Ford’s 14th with the Tigers.
Prior to taking over the cornerbacks job, Ford was primarily over outside safeties from 2001-03. Ford’s secondary this season was one of the best in the conference. Against SEC opponents, Missouri only allowed 194.2 passing yards per game, good for second in the conference.
Arguably his biggest asset has come in recruiting, however. As the chief recruiter over the St. Louis area, Ford has brought in some of Missouri’s best talent over the years, including more recently defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and quarterback Blaine Gabbert, both of whom were first-round picks in the NFL Draft.