I have the same truck as you, but it is better because it is........RED, lol.
My clutch pedal is not that hard to push in, but harder than newer Ranger clutches
Yes, could be someone installed a different pressure plate with "racing" clutch, these don't last as long because they use softer material that gets sticky and grabs better, these do use stiffer springs on pressure plate.
Or you could have a restriction at master or slave requiring more force to pass fluid, next time you do the clutch replace master as well, not that much more, and you can bleed the system before installing.
If you have the tool you could release the quick disconnect and then hook it back up, those can restrict flow a bit.