HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -The Rainbow Warriors will be without one of their leaders on the defense.
Head coach Todd Graham announced to reporters on Monday that senior safety Eugene Ford would miss the remainder of the 2020 season after suffering a lower leg injury in the opening drive of last Friday’s 31-7 loss to Wyoming.
“That was a tough loss, but man what a great kid, he’ll bounce back, he’ll be fine.” Coach Graham told reporters after Monday’s practice. “He’s a champion, but he’s pretty much done for the year.”
Even though Ford is a senior on the field, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 season does not count towards a student-athlete’s eligibility, so coach Graham tells us that the California native will be back in 2021.
“He’ll bounce back and be back next year, he’ll be leading our team everyday, I had him out here on the field today coaching, coaching up the safeties.” Coach said. “Great person, team captain, a tremendous person of faith and just really proud of him.”
Ford had a career game to open the 2020 season, coming up with two interceptions and four tackles in their win against Fresno state, but he is in good spirits and ready to take on his new role as a mentor to the other safeties.
“I told him you know life happens like that and if you get knocked down just pick yourself back up because the good lord isn’t going to give you too much that you can’t handle, so he’s in great spirits but ill always be honest with you on that, he’ll be out for the season.” Coach said.
It’s next man up mentality, as Donovan Dalton and Sterling Ortiz will look to fill the void that Ford will be leaving and Ford is looking forward to helping them throughout the rest of the season.
“I admire him for the first thing he said today, is what can i do to help, i want to help and obviously losing someone with his experience.” Coach Graham said. “Thats whats hard right now, when you lose someone that has all of those reps, you know you rep the ones and because we’ve had such few practices we’ve repped five reps to every two with the twos because you have to get the ones ready and so he was out there today helping and helping the guys behind him get ready.”
The 'Bows are back home this week to take on New Mexico in an empty Aloha Stadium, set for November 7th on Spectrum pay-per-view.