BEAVERTON, Ore. — Luke Ford, the nation’s No. 4 tight end in the Class of 2018, was named after a Jedi.
Ford, a 4-star prospect from Carterville (Ill.) High School, told SEC Country that his father actually wanted to name him Luke Skywalker Ford. Luke’s mother denied her husband’s request.
“You mean like where I got my name?” Ford said. “Well … my Dad. He wanted to name me Luke Skywalker.”
Ford’s middle name is Delsignore, instead. But, Ford admits that he’s a big Star Wars nerd, so everything worked out for him in the end.
His commitment to Arkansas didn’t work out, however. Ford de-committed from the Razorbacks in June because he wanted to visit other schools. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has a no-visit rule for commits. The rule typically means players who have committed to the Hogs will be considered uncommitted if they take visits elsewhere.
“I was just thinking about after I committed early in March that I don’t want the first time I visit LSU and Alabama is when I play them,” Ford said. “I called Coach Bielema and asked him how he felt about me checking out other schools. I only checked out two schools (prior to committing). He said that it was going to hurt the recruiting class.
“I have to be selfish and choose which school is best for me, so I just told him that I had to de-commit and check out other schools. Me and him are good. He was fine with it. The only right way I could do that was to just de-commit. It would look bad for the program, and I didn’t want to hurt the program.”
Ford said he’s still considering the Razorbacks, but it’s highly unlikely he becomes a Hog. Elite recruits rarely return to the school they were once committed to. He did say, though, that if Bielema didn’t have that rule in place, he would still be committed to Arkansas.
Since his de-commitment, Ford has visited Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and LSU. The Crimson Tide received a visit from Ford on June 17. He quickly told SEC Country after that trip that the Tide were on top. They still are.
“Alabama stands out because of the facilities and the new offensive coordinator,” Ford said. “He’s coached (Rob) Gronkowski. He was with the Patriots and won five Super Bowls there. Alabama stands out really high on my list. They’ve made it clear that I’m their No. 1 target at tight end. That means a lot to me because it’s Alabama.”
It should be noted that Ford, along with the nation’s No. 1 junior college tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson are considered to be the top targets at tight end for Alabama. Wood-Anderson will take an official visit to Tuscaloosa on July 21 before making his commitment on August 1.
Ford said every other school is scrambled in the mix behind Alabama, but Auburn, Georgia and LSU are close to overtaking the Tide for the top spot.
“They’re not too far down there, but Alabama was just an amazing visit,” Ford said.
As for when a commitment could possibly come? Don’t expect a decision anytime soon.
“I learned from my first commitment to take it slow,” Ford said. “I think I’m going to take it until signing day. If not then, then at the Under Armour game (in January).”