Baldwin’s Dorien Ford ready to produce season of thrills

Monday, July 8, 2019 | 7:01 PM

The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 23 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

When Kennywood Park opens the Steel Curtain roller coaster Saturday, Baldwin rising junior Dorien Ford intends to be riding … in the front seat, of course.

The 6-foot-4, 283-pound defensive tackle from Baldwin is a thrill seeker. He also plans to create his own thrills this football season.

Ford is one of 25 players selected for the Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team.

A Class 5A Allegheny 8 Conference honorable mention defensive end last season, he has 13 Division I scholarship offers, including Pitt, Penn State, Maryland and Syracuse.

“He doesn’t really know how good he can be,” Baldwin coach Loran Cooley said. “He’s very disruptive and very quick. He’s a great kid.”

Ford grew up in the Arlington section of Pittsburgh but moved to Baldwin with his guardian (godmother) in seventh grade.

He also plays basketball for the Fighting Highlanders and played baseball when he was young.

If you’re at a Baldwin football game this fall, you better buy a program to make sure to get his jersey number. He will be wearing different numbers because of the various positions he will play.

“On offense he may line up at guard, fullback to tight end,” Cooley said. “We’ll move him around. On defense, he gets double-teamed a lot. So we’ll move him around a lot trying to create confusion.

“When most kids complain about positional changes or needs, he never complains. He’ll play anywhere.”

He is preparing for the numerous positions this offseason, especially on defense.

“I like defensive tackle or defensive end,” said Ford, who patterns himself after Penn Hills and Pitt grad Aaron Donald, now with the Los Angeles Rams. “I feel I come off the ball strong, and I’ve learned to use my hands more. I’m still working on coming off the ball even quicker, especially my first few steps and getting to the quarterback faster.

Ford works out with Duane Brown, who also trains Donald in the offseason.

“(Pitt football) coach (Pat) Narduzzi introduced me to him at a Pitt basketball game,” Ford said of Donald. “I thought he was going to be a lot bigger in size and taller. He’s a rock. He’s solid.”

Ford expects a lot from the Highlanders this fall. Baldwin was 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the Allegheny 8 last season.

”I feel like we’re going to have a good season,” he said. “We have good skill and a good line. We have a lot of people returning. We’ll try to rebuild from the players we lost.”

School: Baldwin

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 283

Positions: FB, TE, OG/DT

Stars: three

Division I offers: Akron, Ball State, Howard, Iowa State, Maryland, Nebraska, Penn State, Pitt, Robert Morris, Syracuse and Toledo

2018 statistics: 4.5 sacks, 10 tackles for losses, 2 fumble recoveries, 7.8 yards per carry

Trib HSSN Preseason All-Stars

A.J. Beatty, Central Catholic

Fintan Brose, Hempfield

Tui Brown, Gateway

Michael Carmody, Mars

Josh Casilli, Peters Township

Johnny Crise, Highlands

Derrick Davis, Gateway

Daniel Deabner, Thomas Jefferson

Deamontae Diggs, McKeesport

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .


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