Four-star 2018 tight end Luke Ford signed with Georgia on Thursday afternoon.
Ford considered Illinois in his final five schools, beside college football powerhouses like Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama.
While this may have been just a hometown discount by Ford, a Carterville, Illinois, native, he put the Illini in a national conversation, even if the crystal ball trended toward Georgia and Alabama prior to his 3 p.m. decision.
Ford had originally committed to Arkansas earlier in 2017.
Illinois already signed tight end Daniel Barker in this signing period, who will likely play behind sophomore Louis Dorsey in 2018. Dorsey had a breakout freshman campaign for the Illini despite the struggles at quarterback for Lovie Smith’s team.
Overall, there is not much to say here about Ford. He would have likely had a starting spot, or played a major role in the offense early for Illinois, but the opportunity to play for a national contender is too good for many of these high school recruits to pass up.
Illinois’ 2018 class currently ranks 14th in the Big Ten.