With the first overall pick in the 2021 CFL Global Draft, the BC Lions addressed a major component of their special teams with the selection of Australian punter and kicker Jake Ford.
The 28-year-old Ford was most recently a member of the Alphas in The Spring League in 2020.
“I’m really excited to get back to the west coast,” Ford said from his home in Arkansas.
“I visited Vancouver in 2016 and just fell in love with it. Talking with coach Rick Campbell and coach Don Yanowsky and hearing what they have planned for me has me even more thrilled for the opportunity to wear Lions orange.”
A native of Shepparton, Australia, Ford first moved to the United States to attend the University of Oregon in 2016. From there, he moved on to Saint Augustine University in North Carolina and would go on to suit up in all ten games while handling punt, kickoff and holding duties.
He then transferred to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas where he helped the program go undefeated in back-to-back regular seasons and also capture the 2019 Great American Conference championship.
In 2018, he led the nation in net punting average and also had 28 of his 52 total punts land inside the opposition’s 20-yard line while having only six total punts returned. Ford also served as the squad’s holder on field goals.
Prior to moving to North America, Ford played rugby and Aussie Rules football before eventually earning an invite to Prokick Australia, a program that helps guide and transition young Aussie athletes into playing at both the US College and NFL levels.
Ford lists San Francisco 49ers punter and fellow Aussie Mitch Wishnowsky as a player he models himself after for versatility in the kicking game.