The Texas Longhorns are still in contention for one of the nation’s top tight ends, as Carterville (Ill.) standout Luke Ford is set to take an official visit to Austin this weekend, according to multiple reports, including Rivals.
The 6’6, 248-pounder took an unofficial visit during the summer and has recently taken trips to Alabama and Georgia. The time in Athens last weekend for a win over South Carolina apparently consolidated some recent momentum for the Bulldogs, as a flurry of 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions have recently come in for Kirby Smart’s program.
The apparent surge by Georgia has pushed Alabama out of the leadership position it seemingly held throughout the summer. And it may be that an expected commitment from the nation’s No. 1 junior college tight end, Dominick Wood-Anderson, is causing Ford to look elsewhere.
Speaking of Wood-Anderson, losing the commitment of Wood-Anderson was a significant blow for the Longhorns and a major reason why Ford is now the top target on the board. Credit to the Texas staff for continuing to recruit the Illinois product even when there were two other players committed at the position.
As with Alabama, Texas can’t currently compete with Georgia in terms of on-field success. The fact that the Bulldogs don’t have as many tight ends on the roster as the Crimson Tide doesn’t help the ‘Horns, either.
However, head coach Tom Herman and his staff have done an outstanding job of seeing prospects on the future of the Texas program on visits and can offer Ford a quick path to playing time.
The Longhorns currently hold a pledge at the position from Spring Dekaney tight end Malcolm Epps, but since he’s more of a receiver with a long, thin frame, Herman would like to add an instant-impact in-line player to the class.
Ford fits the bill as the nation’s No. 48 player overall, the nation’s No. 2 tight end, and the No. 1 player in the state of Illinois, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.