The 247Sports Crystal Ball has swung in Penn State’s direction for Stafford (Va.) North Stafford running back Devyn Ford, who will announce his choice on Friday afternoon at a ceremony at his high school. His decision will come down to the Nittany Lions and Virginia Tech.

The Hokies have owned the Crystal Ball for much of the process, but following an official visit to Penn State last month the Nittany Lions started trending. Lions247’s Sean Fitz was the first to register a pick for Penn State on April 24, followed quickly by 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong. Since then the Nittany Lions have picked up 16 straight heading into Ford’s announcement. The Nittany Lions now hold 70 percent of the predictions.

(Photo: 247Sports)


Ohio State was a strong player for Ford before the Buckeyes grabbed a second running back commitment in early April. Ford canceled a scheduled official visit to Columbus last month and focused his attention on the Nittany Lions and Hokies. Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and USC are among the schools that also extended a scholarship offer.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Ford is the nation’s No. 65 overall prospect in the Class of 2019 according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He is the nation’s No. 3 running back and the No. 2 prospect in Virginia in the cycle. 247sports slots the four-star back as the No. 128 overall player nationally, the No. 6 running back and the No. 2 player in Virginia.

Penn State targeted Ford early, extending a scholarship offer to the Virginia standout in April of 2016. The Nittany Lions had hosted him in November of 2015 when he was still a freshman. He took in a Junior Day in February of 2017 and later returned for last year’s Blue-White Game. He didn’t visit again until the Nittany Lions’ White Out win over Michigan last fall, followed by an unofficial visit in February.

His last trip before deciding came in the form of an official visit in April. He took his official visit to Virginia Tech the weekend prior.

The Nittany Lions set out to sign a pair of running backs in the Class of 2019, as seniors Mark Allen and Jonathan Thomas will move on at the end of the 2018 season. Ford is among the top targets along with Florida back Noah Cain, Ohio State commit Sampson James, Memphis all-purpose back Eric Gray and Washington D.C., standout Keilan Robinson.

Penn State has three commitments in its Class of 2019 so far in quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson, offensive lineman Caedan Wallace and cornerback Keaton Ellis. The Nittany Lions are also awaiting upcoming decisions from five-star linebacker Brandon Smith and four-star defensive lineman Antonio Alfano. Smith will announce on Monday and the Nittany Lions lead on the 247Sports Crystal ball, while Alfano will pledge on Friday with Alabama leading the race on the Crystal Ball.