Hope College’s Darren Ford has been chosen to the 2017 Fred Mitchell Award Kick Off Watch List for placekickers.
The senior from Howell, Michigan (Howell HS) is among 36 college football players
across the country to be recognized for their play on the field and their continued
community service during the offseason.
The award is named for Fred Mitchell, the record-setting place-kicker, Wittenberg, Ohio Athletic Hall of Famer, author, philanthropist and Chicago Tribune sports columnist.
The school of the award winner, announced in December, receives scholarship funds and the Fred Mitchell Award trophy is presented each February at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.
“I am looking forward to the 2017 college football season with much anticipation as another group of outstanding candidates for our annual national kicking award display their talents on and off the field," Mitchell said. "We have had a number of previous winners and Top 10 finalists kick in the NFL and the Canadian Football League. More importantly, members of our esteemed selection committee are proud of the community-minded young men that are recognized and continue to make positive contributions throughout the country.”
Rob Perry, Mitchell Award selection committee chairman, added, “The quality of person that the Fred Mitchell Award continues to attract and celebrate remains high. We’re all very excited to see the on and off-field accomplishments of the fine young men on this list throughout the 2017 season and beyond.”
Ford set a Hope College single-season record with 14 field goals during 2016 season. He was second on the Flying Dutchmen in scoring with a school-record 68 points as a junior.
Ford tied a Michigan Intercollegiate Association record with 11 field goals in 16 attempts over six league games. He also converted all 16 of his PATs in MIAA competition and averaged 38.2 yards over 29 punts against MIAA foes.
Ford tied a single-game MIAA record with four field goals in an October 15, 2016 win at Adrian.
Ford kicked three longest field goals in Flying Dutchmen history as a junior with makes of 46 yards twice and 45 yards.
Off the field, Ford volunteered with several teammates at Dance Marathon last spring that raised $275,000 at a 2016 event for DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids. He was a member of 2016-17 MIAA Academic Honor Roll.