Fighting Illini football received a visit from four-star tight end Luke Ford (IL) this past weekend, but despite reports of a positive experience ($$$), it appears they’ve missed their window of opportunity. The Carterville native announced an unexpected verbal commitment on Tuesday morning by picking the Arkansas Razorbacks via a Twitter post.
Scout has the 6-foot-6, 250-pound prospect slotted in four-star range. According to 247Sports, though, Ford is ranked as the No. 348 overall player (three-star) and No. 14 tight end in the class-of-2018. His impressive offer list included additional Power 5 scholarships from Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisville, Minnesota, N.C. State, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, and West Virginia.
Ford was sporting an Illinois-themed Twitter avatar for a few days, which just goes to show you how college recruiting can be an absolute roller coaster at times. Luckily, there’s still an ample amount of time for the Orange and Blue to recover and identify other targets at the position. But coaching staff will likely need to prove their ability to utilize tight ends in the passing game before landing any top prospects like Ford.