Ford-Dement

Ex-Old Dominion cornerback Kaleb Ford-Dement prepares to make a play in a game for the Monarchs in 2019. Ford-Dement committed to WSU on Saturday.

Two years ago, Kaleb Ford-Dement set an Old Dominion single-season record with 13 pass breakups – a number that ranked second in Conference USA and 10th in the FBS.

Now the former All-Conference USA cornerback and one-time UCLA commit will bring his ball-hawking skills to Washington State and the Pac-12.

Ford-Dement, who didn’t play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, announced his commitment to the Cougars, choosing Nick Rolovich’s program over a handful of major offers in the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC.

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Along with WSU, Ford-Dement was offered by UCLA, Georgia, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Virginia, Liberty and SMU.

Ford-Dement entered the NCAA transfer portal on Jan. 29 and committed to UCLA on Feb. 5, just three days after receiving his offer from Chip Kelly and the Bruins. According to Bruin Sports Online, a 247Sports.com website covering UCLA football, Ford-Dement was denied admission at the Pac-12 South school and re-entered the transfer portal.

The Whitehouse, Texas, native spent one season at Kilgore (Texas) College in 2018, registering 34 tackles, seven interceptions, 10 pass breakups and two interception returns for touchdowns.

In his first and only season at Old Dominion, Ford-Dement won the starting cornerback job and tallied 26 tackles and two interceptions to go with his 10 pass breakups. Ford-Dement’s four pass breakups in a nonconference game against Virginia were the second-most in a single game by an ODU player. He had a season-high seven tackles with an interception in a game against Florida Atlantic.

Starting this fall, Ford-Dement will have two years of eligibility remaining. He joins a relatively deep cornerbacks room that includes veterans Jaylen Watson, George Hicks III and Derrick Langford – three players who’ve started games for the Cougars – along with promising sophomore Chau Smith-Wade.

Theo Lawson can be reached at (509) 939-5928 or theol@spokesman.com.