Former HHIHS Star Poona Ford Stands Tall In All-Star Game

Poona Ford often reminds himself – and anyone else who is listening – that he has always been told he is too short to play defensive tackle.

Ford proved his doubters wrong again last week with an impressive performance at the East-West Shrine Game, earning the former Hilton Head High star an invitation to play in the more prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday in Mobile, Ala. The game will air on NFL Network at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

The all-star game featuring the top senior NFL prospects in the nation will serve as another opportunity for Ford to convince NFL scouts he can play at the next level. The biggest concern has always been his height – he’s listed at 5-11, 309 pounds – but he has yet to reach his ceiling.

“People have been saying I’m not tall enough since I was in high school,” Ford told “I just keep proving people wrong.”

Ford is the first Texas Longhorn selected to play in the game since 2015. In 46 career games at Texas, Ford made 30 starts and was a team captain as a senior. He was named the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year this season after collected 34 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a blocked field goal for a defense that ranked eighth nationally against the run.

Whale Branch alumnus Dee Delaney also participated in the Shrine Game. Delaney recorded 39 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one interception, one pass breakup and one fumble recovery this season as a graduate transfer at Miami after graduating from The Citadel following his junior campaign.

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