BEAVERTON, Ore. — There’s a sense at The Opening this week that Luke Ford will go a long way with his college decision.
The nation’s No. 4 tight end (per the 247Sports composite) seemed very purposeful when stating he could wait until National Signing Day to make sure he makes the right decision.
He committed to Arkansas after his second unofficial visit. Ever. He realizes now that wasn’t nearly enough time. When Ford met with the media this week, he stated Alabama was his leader but Georgia and others were closely bunched up behind the Tide. Like a mere tenth of a second behind if all these schools were running a 40-yard dash.
His father told DawgNation on Sunday afternoon he feels it is a lot closer than that.
“I don’t know if you should pay that much attention to what Luke is saying about that,” his father Tim Ford said. “I think it is a lot more Georgia than it is Alabama and don’t have any problem with saying that. We hear the other talk. We hear the dinner table talk.”
Ford and his family really liked their trip to Athens earlier this year. It came the day after he de-committed from Arkansas.
But then there was another sign. His older brother, Noah, has worn three different Georgia hats each day this week at The Opening. They’ve all been in different colors, too.
That’s a silent message there. Noah Ford let those different shades of black, gray and red do the talking for him.
Those things are very interesting to note as a decision draws closer for Luke Ford. It is still a long way to February. The 6-foot-5.5, 245-pound prospect wants to make sure he properly researches his next commitment decision this time.
What did Luke Ford say on Sunday?
Another media member asked Ford which schools will make his top group when he finally puts out a listing of top schools.
“Certain teams,” Ford said. “I’d say Georgia is going to make it. Alabama is going to make it. That’s the only for-sure schools there.”
He said he plans to visit Texas, Michigan and then Illinois in the near future. Everything else is up in the air.
Does he know that both Alabama and Georgia will get an official visit this fall?
“You can say that,” Ford said. “I think it is fair to say that.”
How does what he likes about Alabama compare with what he likes about Georgia?
“Alabama is going to win championships and national championships for one,” Ford said. “Then two they just had a first-round tight end pick [in O.J. Howard]. Then with Georgia, I think they have two All-American types at tight end (Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner) that I can mock and learn from. They have two 5-star quarterbacks that are coming up and they are predicted to win the [SEC] East this year.”
“Both have their pros and stuff. I just have to figure out where I want to go.”
What if Georgia also got Justin Fields on the commitment board?
“That would make Georgia even way more intriguing,” Ford said. “If they got Justin Fields? Then Georgia already has got the No. 1 running back in the nation. I might just have to hop on that train.”
That was interesting. Ford, a big-time recruit himself, was well aware of Zamir White’s commitment to Georgia.
“My gosh that was crazy,” Ford said. “Twitter was blowing up. I was like Georgia might really be doing some stuff. Getting the No. 1 guy at running back and stuff. I know how good he is. He is crazy. He is a beast.”
What is Georgia missing for Luke Ford?
What does Ford still need to see with Georgia? He took a second with that question. In the end, it seemed like it was going to be the won-loss record. The big wins.
He wants to see more from the Bulldogs in that area.
“If [Georgia] won the East this year, then that would show me something with that,” Ford said.
What did he think about his brother wearing all those Georgia hats this week? Keep in mind that his older brother played fullback for Southern Illinois University as a walk-on last year. Noah Ford had a Salukis T-shirt on at The Opening on Sunday as well.
“My brother really likes Georgia and Alabama,” Luke Ford said. “I see him wearing Alabama and Georgia hats all the time. I don’t know but I think he’s split.”
He said he thinks his father wants Alabama. Maybe.
“I think my mom just wants me to be happy,” Luke Ford said. “Ultimately though I know I will make the decision. They will just provide me with their feedback. They will submit it, but really I am the one that gets to make it.”