Arkansas lost the commitment of its highest-rated 2018 verbal pledge Saturday night.
Carterville (Ill.) tight end Luke Ford announced via Twitter he is reopening his recruitment and will visit other schools. Ford, a 4-star according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, had been committed to the Razorbacks since March.
Ford (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) stated his desire to visit other programs as a major motive behind his de-commitment. He has visited only Arkansas and Illinois to this point. Hogs coach Bret Bielema has a policy against most commits visiting other schools. If they do, they are typically then considered de-committed. Bielema has made rare exceptions for some commits in the past.
“After much thought, I have decided that I have not done my due diligence in visiting/experiencing other schools,” Ford wrote. “Many recruits have visited more than 10 schools, I have only visited [two]. I am not saying I will not eventually be a Hogs, but I need to ensure that I have made the best informed decision possible. So, I am de-committing from Arkansas. Will plan to visit other schools.”
Ford is the No. 4 tight end and and No. 90 overall prospect in the class. He’s also the No. 1 player from Illinois.
Arkansas was his first FBS offer in late January. He committed to the Hogs on March 14 following a visit to Fayetteville. He’s since received significant amounts of attention from many other schools.
During a recent recruiting evaluation period in the spring, several top programs stopped by Carterville to get a look at Ford. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, LSU, Ohio State and Texas were among them. The Razorbacks had been prepared for the onslaught, though, with coaches visiting his high school twice during the evaluation window.
Ford received and accepted invites to The Opening finals and Under Armour All-America Game within the past three months.
The Hogs now have six commitments in the class.