UT Martin linebacker John H. Ford II has been named to the preseason watch list for the prestigious 2022 Buck Buchanan Award, which Stats Perform presents to the national defensive player of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.
Ford is one of 35 players announced to the preseason watch list. Overall, 15 FCS conferences are represented on the list – including the 2021 Buchanan Award recipient Isaiah Land of Florida A&M, 2020 Buchanan Award recipient Jordan Lewis of Southern and 13 other past finalists.
Hailing from Nashville, Ford became a dominating force for the Skyhawks in 2021 en route to All-OVC honors and being named the OVC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. He ranked second on the team with 88 total tackles while racking up four double-digit tackle performances – including tying his season-high with 12 stops against No. 8 Montana State in the second round of the FCS playoffs. The playmaker also recorded four interceptions to rank tied for second in the OVC while returning a pick 75 yards for a touchdown against Tennessee State. He also garnered an OVC Defensive Player of the Week honor after tallying five tackles and a 66-yard interception return against Northwestern State.
For his career, Ford has tallied 145 tackles while notching 11.5 tackles for loss. He has also defended 11 passes while recording six interceptions and forcing a fumble in 29 games.