"I think it's going to be pretty tough, but I've already made some friends there," Ford said.
Ford has also seen enough of Fork Union's brand of football to know what to expect on the field. Even though it's a step short of the college game, he said it doesn't look much different to him.
"It seems to me like it's D-1," he said. "Everything's so quick. But that's the kind of competition I like."
Fork Union's football reputation is well known. Its alumni include Heisman Trophy winners Vinny Testaverde and Eddie George, as well as over 70 other current and former National Football League players. Ford said he heard about Fork Union from his cousin, former Danville and Tennessee star Chester Ford.
"(He) told me about it, and I sent some film to their coach, and he liked me," Ford said.
Wants to add weight
However, Ford said Fork Union's coaches would also like him to put on some weight, 20 pounds or so to get from his current weight of 175 to a playing weight of 195. "I've been stuffing my mouth every night with peanut butter," he said.
Ford played three seasons at Harrodsburg, then one at Mercer after the two schools merged.
He was the leading rusher for Mercer's Class AA championship team, which broke the state's single-season rushing record with 5,769 yards last season.
Ford had 2,211 of those yards and 32 rushing touchdowns, leading the five-county area in both categories, and he had an area-best 36 touchdowns overall.
He wrapped up his high school sports career Saturday by helping Mercer win a state championship in the Class AA boys 800-meter relay. He was part of a second-place finish in another relay at the state meet and also earned two third-place medals.
Now he will focus on football and his dream of playing for a major college. He said coaches from Kentucky and Clemson were impressed by his work at a recent combine, and he said he hopes to be headed for such a school this time next year.
"Hopefully, UK will give me a scholarship next year," Ford said.