Newly-hired Arkansas State men's basketball Coach Bryan Hodgson continued adding to his offseason haul Friday, securing a commitment from former University of Arkansas guard and Magnolia native Derrian Ford.
Ford, who played his freshman season with the Razorbacks in 2022-23, made the announcement in a post to his Twitter and Instagram accounts, choosing the Red Wolves over Ole Miss, LSU and Vanderbilt as well as the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and a handful of other mid-major programs.
"I feel he's an even better person than he is a coach," Ford said of Hodgson in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Friday afternoon. "He's going to believe in me, he's going to push me to my limits -- or try to push me above my limits -- and just get me to the next level that I'm trying to get to."
ASU brought Hodgson, a former Alabama and Buffalo assistant under Coach Nate Oats, to Jonesboro in March after firing Mike Balado. The Red Wolves went 13-20 with a 4-14 Sun Belt Conference record in 2022-23, the last of Balado's six seasons at the helm.
Twice named Gatorade Arkansas Player of the Year, Ford led Magnolia to three state championships. He averaged 23.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as a senior but played just 80 minutes in 21 games and had 15 points and 10 rebounds in his lone season at Arkansas.
Ford saw the floor for a season-high 16 minutes in the Razorbacks' loss at Vanderbilt on Jan. 14, and scored a season-best four points in nine minutes in the team's loss at Missouri on Jan. 18.
Ford is the second player from the Razorbacks' 2022-23 roster to commit to another program this spring, joining Barry Dunning (Alabama-Birmingham).
The 6-3, 205-pound guard is the fourth transfer to commit to ASU ahead of Hodgson's inaugural campaign. He'll play alongside Searcy native and former Tarleton State guard Freddy Hicks in the backcourt, with Dyondre Dominguez (Massachusetts) and LaQuill Hardnett (Buffalo) supplementing the Red Wolves' front line.
"I'm here for [the Arkansas State fans] and I'm not thinking about any other school," Ford said when asked what he wanted the ASU community to know about him. "I'm going to try to put in my best effort, play to the best of my ability ... and ultimately, win a championship."