The NFL will celebrate its brightest stars of today and tomorrow with new Pro Bowl week festivities in 2017 in Orlando.
Culminating with the 2017 Pro Bowl game at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, January 29 and televised live at 7 PM CT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, Pro Bowl week will celebrate all levels of football -- from youth to high school to the NFL's best.
The 2017 Pro Bowl will feature a return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC game format following three years using a revised, "unconferenced" format. The NFL's best will once again be in the spotlight as 88 players -- 44 from the AFC and 44 from the NFC -- are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches.
More Pro Bowl Info
PRO: Now in his fourth NFL season, former sixth-round draft pick Jacob Ford is one of the most established pass rushers on the squad. From 2008 to 2009, no other Titans defender had more than Ford’s 12.5 total sacks. The athletically-gifted Ford was one of the fastest defensive ends available in the 2007 rookie pool, but his talents were only briefly on display for the Titans before a left Achilles’ injury in his first training camp resulted in his placement on injured reserve. He returned from the injury in 2008 to post seven sacks and followed that with a team-high 5.5 sacks in 2009.
• Ford finished second on the team and sixth among all AFC defensive ends in 2008 with a career-high seven sacks.
• Ford’s unique path to the NFL included one year at the University of Memphis, two years out of college, one season at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss., and finally two seasons at Central Arkansas.
• At the 2007 scouting combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds, the second-best time among defensive ends.
• Jacob Ford’s father, the late Fred “Sweet Daddy Goodlow” Ford, was an internationally renowned jazz musician best known for his talents on the baritone saxophone. He played and recorded music with countless stars in the music business, such as Little Richard, B.B. King, Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others. Perhaps Sweet Daddy Goodlow’s most popular collaboration was with Big Mamma Thornton on the original 1952 hit single “Hound Dog.”
• His mother, Bennie Nelson West, is an accomplished ceramic artist and sits on the board of directors for the Memphis Black Arts Alliance. Ford has donated resources to the organization, which promotes and teaches music, visual arts and dance in the community.
• The Ford family was forced to endure a great tragedy during Jacob’s senior season at Central Arkansas, when the youngest daughter in the family, Sarah June, passed away in December 2006 due to a pulmonary embolism.
• Ford earned his chance to play in the NFL under difficult circumstances. After being named to the All-Freshman Conference USA team in 2001, he spent the following two years out of college and out of football. He worked primarily in Memphis and Houston for FedEx and Hewlett Packard, respectively, loading trucks and sorting packages for deliveries. In 2004, he enrolled at Holmes (Goodman, Miss.) Community College and then spent his final two college seasons at Central Arkansas, the only school willing to give him a chance to continue his career.
• The Memphis, Tenn., native was orginally selected by the Titans in the sixth round (204th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. He became the highest draft pick in Central Arkansas history.
• In two seasons at Central Arkansas, totaled 102 tackles, 17 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss.
• As a senior (2006), named first-team All-American by College Sports Report after starting all 10 games and leading the team with eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. Added 48 tackles, four passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
• As a junior (2005) at Central Arkansas, named first-team All-Gulf South Conference, first-team All-Region and second-team All-American after starting all 14 games for Bears team that made NCAA Div. II quarterfinals.
• As a sophomore (2004) at Holmes Community College (Goodman, Miss.), played nine games and earned All-State honors.
• Was not enrolled in college during 2002 and 2003 seasons.
• As a freshman (2001) at Memphis, earned Freshman All-Conference USA honors after appearing in 10 games.
• Majored in mass communications.
• Married to Doné with son, Brandon, splits time between Nashville and Memphis, Tenn.
• At Melrose (Memphis, Tenn.) High School, earned All-Shelby Metro, Prep Star All-Southeast Region and High Tech Tennessee’s Top Prospect List honors as senior two-way lineman. Registered 229 tackles and 32 sacks during career and helped team win 1998 State Championship.
• Also ran track three seasons, competing in 110m and 300m hurdles.
• Enjoys drawing and painting portraits and landscapes.
• Has donated time and resources to the non profits Ellie’s Run for Africa, Invisible Children and Action for Healthy Kids.
• List of favorites: (movie) “300”; (TV show) “SportsCenter”; (actor) Will Smith; (musicians) Fred Ford; (sports hero) Jason Taylor; (school subject) history; (video game) Street Fighter IV; and (food) sushi.
• Born Jacob Aaron Taylor Ford on July 20, 1983 in Memphis, Tenn.