Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman and tight ends coach Corby Meekins hosted one of the program’s top targets over the weekend, as Carterville (Ill.) standout Luke Ford visited Austin for two days.
And it appears the program made an impression on the nation’s No. 3 tight end:
The “whole thing was awesome,” Ford added in an interview with 247Sports.
The consensus four-star prospect is one of the most coveted tight ends in the country, as Ford holds nearly 30 offers. In March, he pledged to Arkansas, but opted to open up his recruitment again in June, at which pointed he named Alabama his leader following a visit.
At The Opening Finals, Ford said that Auburn is his other favorite. Georgia may also be in the mix following a recent 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction for the Bulldogs, indicating that Ford has serious interest in SEC country.
This won’t be a recruitment that the Longhorns can impact as quickly and completely as Missouri linebacker Ayodele Adeoye or Kentucky wide receiver Rondale Moore.
However, the deep need that Texas has for tight ends does stand in sharp contrast to other schools — the Tide have six on scholarship, while the Razobacks have eight. So tight ends coach Corby Meekins has a relatively easy sell for early playing time with Ford.
If that’s something that The Opening Finals alum decides to weigh heavily in his recruitment, then the ‘Horns should have a strong shot at landing his services come February.
And, in fact, that is something that Ford is considering.
“My goal is to play,” he said. “I’m not sure I want to wait until my junior or senior year to get on the field. A lot of factors play into picking a college.”
“I want to make a well-informed decision,” Ford said. “Arkansas is still in the race, Texas, Georgia and more schools. Tight end coach Corby Meekins Facetimes me all the time. He’s a funny guy, a nice guy. We’re building a good relationship.”
Ford is the No. 64 player nationally, the No. 3 tight end, and the No. 1 player in Illinois, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He plans on making a decision following his senior season.
Texas may now be a serious contender for the Illinois product as it continues to pursue in-state products Malcolm Epps and Mustapha Muhammad, as well as junior college standout Dominick Wood-Anderson, who has already taken an official visit to Austin this offseason.