Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Poona Ford turned in a strong 2015 season, and is ready to take it up a notch now as an upperclassman. Above, the junior from South Carolina features in a quick spring profile.
Ford played in all 12 games last season, starting five, and was named to ESPN's Big 12 Underclassman Team. He also appeared in nine games as a reserve during his true freshman season in 2014, so he's got plenty of on-field experience.
"I think playing as a freshman really helped me mature as a player as far as what I needed to do within this defense," he says. "I know my assignments, I know the playbook."
Ford is working on stepping up as a leader, coaching up the players around him.
"I give them tips, they give me tips," Ford says. "Everybody coaches each other up."
In 2015, Ford ranked seventh on the team in tackles for loss (six) and eighth in total tackles (39). He also added 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. At 5'11, 291 pounds, Ford has emerged as an important part of the 'Horns defense despite being a little undersized.
"I'm just working on my craft, bettering my technique," Ford says. "I just want the defensive line to come together as a whole so we can be ready for the season.