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D. Orlando Ledbetter

Dee Ford: There is no feud with Jadeveon Clowney

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Auburn edge rusher Dee Ford before his second vertical jump on Tuesday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Auburn edge rusher Dee Ford before his second vertical jump on Tuesday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn edge rusher Dee Ford, after his stellar showing at the school’s Pro Day on Tuesday, wanted to make one thing clear.

Despite his brash comments about South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney at the scouting combine, there is no feud between the SEC rivals.

Ford referred to Clowney as a blind dog in a meat shop, who relied on his athletic talent.

“It’s a great story and it sounds good, but what I want everyone to know is that me and Clowney are not feuding,” Ford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We compete. If he sets a number, I’m going to try and beat it. I told Clowney to set the bar the high.

“That’s just how we have fun. We didn’t take any of that personally. I think, if anything, it was taken differently by the masses and that’s not something that I can control. Me and Clowney have a great relationship. We are not feuding.”

Ford didn’t work out at the combine because of a back issue related to a 2011 surgery. He said it was a “precautionary.”

Ford, who’s the 28th rated player by NFLDraftScout.com, attempted to solidify his first-round draft status. He had a 35 1/2-inch vertical, 10-foot, 4-inch long jump, he lifted 225 pounds 29 times on the bench press and 4.59 on his first 40-yard dash attempt and 4.53 on his second.

“They said 4.53,” Ford said. “Some said 4.4 and half. But it’s all good. I’m just glad that I got out there and ran.”

He wanted to get into the 30s on his bench press.

“I wasn’t happy with that,” Ford said. “I wanted to get a 30-piece.”

Ford pronounced himself healthy.

“I feel great about where I’m at right now,” Ford said. “I had a back procedure in 2011 and they didn’t want to chance anything at the combine. They just put me under medical precaution just to be on the safe side and said that I could do everything at my Pro Day.”

Ford, who dropped from 252 to 244 pounds in 10 days after the combine, has to show 3-4 teams that he can play outside linebacker.

“It’s all good,” Ford said. “The beautiful thing about football is that anything that’s new or foreign to you is (a challenge). … I might not be able to do it on the first time, but that’s the beautiful thing about the sport, it’s your craft and it’s something that you can definitely work on and learn from.”

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