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Five-star UGA commit Justin Fields definitely has developed a friendship with 4-star TE target Luke Ford.

Why 4-star Illinois TE Luke Ford continues to be a UGA priority

Jeff Sentell

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet Thursday calls for a look at where Georgia stands with 4-star priority TE target Luke Ford


Georgia is way up there with Luke Ford. The sources I have close to that decision likely would not dispute that this Thanksgiving.

Luke Ford (left) ranks as the nation’s No. 48 overall prospect for 2018 on the 247Sports Composite. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The 4-star recruit ranks as the nation’s No. 2 tight end prospect for 2018 and the No. 48 overall prospect, per the 247Sports composite rankings.

The 6-foot-6, 245-pounder is a gritty athlete. He also can find seams in coverage and snatch a first down or red-zone score with the best of them.

He showed that prowess over and over this summer at Nike’s elite “The Opening” talent showcase held at its world headquarters in Oregon.

Ford also showed immense fortitude earlier this year as he played through and eventually returned from a broken collarbone. Ford played through that significant pain for several weeks. 

He will be a contested recruit over the next few weeks. Let’s summarize:

  • He just completed an official visit to Texas.
  • Auburn will host he and his family on another official visit weekend for the Iron Bowl.
  • Texas plans an in-home visit on Monday.
  • Georgia plans an in-home visit with assistant coach Shane Beamer next Thursday.
  • Michigan seems likely for a Dec. 1 official visit weekend.
  • Alabama has been offered an official visit slot for the Dec. 8 weekend, but that has yet to be nailed down.
  • UGA has its official visit weekend planned for Dec. 15- 16. (That’s some great timing there.) The weekend also aligns with varsity basketball season for Luke, too.
Luke Ford-UGA recruiting
Five-star UGA commit Justin Fields (left) and 4-star TE target Luke Ford have developed quite the friendship since their time this summer out at “The Opening” together in Oregon. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

There also has been an interesting development for Ford regarding when he might make his college choice known.

The former Arkansas pledge is taking his second and hopefully final college commitment very slowly.

He just didn’t want to rush things the second time around.

“[It seems like] Forever Luke has been that he won’t decide until February 7,” his father Timothy Ford told DawgNation. “But this past Sunday he said I just might sign on December 20. I know a lot of his peers are begging him to.”

Another reason to like Georgia’s shot with Luke Ford

Luke Ford-UGA recruiting
Luke Ford (left) and 5-star guard Jamaree Salyer (right) will be two of the top targets left on the UGA board for 2018. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The Bulldogs are actually recruiting two Fords from the same household.

There’s a connection he has with several UGA commits. That Fields fella would be one of those guys, for sure.

But maybe the biggest reason why Georgia is up there could be that the program sees his older brother, Noah Ford, as a potential asset, too.

Christian Payne, a former walk-on to the program, is a senior fullback. The Bulldogs have pitched the same role to Ford.

Ford was a member of the team at Southern Illinois for a time this year before he left that program.

Luke Ford-UGA recruiting
Noah Ford (left) is also a prospect to watch for UGA football. He also will be on an official visit with his younger brother Luke (right) in December. The two brothers were glancing off into the crowd earlier this year while on an unofficial visit to the South Carolina game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

This, in my mind, has been a very shrewd move. The boys have long expressed the sentiment that they would love to play together in college.

Ford might also make the top 50 in the state of Illinois in the following category: residents who own multiple Georgia hats.

Georgia has offered Noah a preferred walk-on opportunity to play fullback. That’s an important distinction.

Noah Ford is also now getting his own layers of recruiting mail from some of the same programs that are chasing his U.S. Army All-American sibling.

“Noah has been cleared by compliance and is being given his own official visits,” his father Timothy Ford said.

Auburn, Michigan and Texas are also recruiting the Fords as a tandem. Alabama is not.

Nick Saban told the Fords that the Crimson Tide does not use a fullback.

That is a significant part of this eventual decision to consider goes forward. Noah Ford is probably right around 6 feet, 2 inches and weighs in around 230 pounds.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed faster than Georgia All-American candidate Roquan Smith can find the football after the snap.