Gavin Henson was the last Brit to win the prize in 2001, while Luke McAlister, Isaia Toeava, Jerome Kaino and Tatafu Polota-Nau have all previously worn the crown.
And after also helping England to the RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam - scoring 76 points along the way - Ford admits it has been a year to remember.
"It's a massive honour especially when you consider the calibre of player who have won it in the past as well as the others (Cane and Whitelock) nominated," he said.
"I couldn't believe it when I found out to be honest but I've got to be quick to point out that rugby is not an individual sport.
"All of the lads were awesome throughout the whole campaign and I'd like to think that I'm picking the award up on behalf of them.
"Winning the Grand Slam in Ireland was a massive highlight. To remain unbeaten against the calibre of sides we played against took some doing, but we performed well each time we took to the field.
"Getting to the final of the Junior World Championship was also a great achievement, and it's just a shame that we fell just short against a strong New Zealand side."
Ford contributed 54 points to the England cause during the Junior World Championship but is behind senior Red Rose fly-half Toby Flood in the pecking order at Leicester.
"I really am just taking it each game as it comes," he added. "My focus is on Leicester at the moment and will switch to England during the U20 6 Nations, but there are a fair few established names that have won the award in the past and it's a massive honour to be part of them now."
England U20 head coach Rob Hunter said: "This is a massive achievement for George and fantastic recognition for him, his family and his club. He was the youngest player in our squad last season, and his success reflects well on the rest of the U20 players and the effort they all put in last season."