Longhorns making a push for top national TE prospect Luke FordThe Longhorns have a big need at tight end, and the coaches are going after one of the nation's best in Luke Ford.
Luke Ford will visit Texas later this month.
Jason Suchomel - Orangebloods.com
A team doesn’t necessarily need to have a big need at the tight end position to throw its name into the mix for 2018 prospect Luke Ford. The 6-7, 247-pound Ford is so talented that college programs are going to vie for his commitment no matter what their tight end numbers currently are.
For a school like the Texas Longhorns, that desperately needs to bolster its tight end depth chart, Ford is an obvious take, and the Longhorn staff has made the Carterville (IL) standout a top priority.
Ford, a one-time Arkansas commitment, has opened up his recruitment and is in the process of evaluating several top programs from around the country. Texas will get a visit on July 21 and have its chance to win Ford over.
“With Texas, (tight ends coach) Corby Meekins, me and him are really good. He’s FaceTiming me all the time. I love him,” Ford said. “He’s such a funny guy, nice guy. He’s always showing me his house, the pool, all kinds of stuff. Me and him are building a really good relationship. I like him a lot.”
Texas wants to feature the tight end in its offense under Tom Herman and Tim Beck’s watch, and the coaches have told Ford they’ll be able to showcase his versatility should he wind up picking the Longhorns.
“They said they want to use me as a traditional tight end, where half the time I could be flexed out, half the time I could be in-line blocking or going out for routes,” Ford said. “They want me to basically be an all-around tight end for them.”
Ford officially decommitted from Arkansas last month. Since that time, he’s taken some other visits to places like Alabama, Auburn and Georgia and he continues to explore his options.
“Right now I’m just going around visiting other schools, checking out everything I can. I want to make a well-informed decision on where I want to go,” Ford said. “Arkansas is still in the race. Texas, Georgia, everybody is in the race. I’m just going to go visit more schools.”
Ford listed Alabama and Auburn as his two current favorites, but said he’s in no hurry to rush into a decision. He doesn’t plan to make another commitment until very late in the process and wants to evaluate teams in the fall to get a better feel for their offensive schemes. Included in those evaluations will be giving the Longhorns a close look as they roll out a completely overhauled offense.
“That’s what I’m looking for this season because I’m not going to commit or sign probably until Signing Day. Maybe earlier at the Under Armour All-American Game. But I want to see how everything plays out because the proof is in the pudding. Coaches can say they’re going to use their tight ends but until I see it on game film it doesn’t really matter,” Ford said.
One factor that could weigh in UT’s favor is the lack of tight ends on the Longhorns’ roster. Texas didn’t have a scholarship tight end take part in most of spring football due to senior Andrew Beck being injured, forcing the Longhorn offense to work with walk-ons or converted wide receivers. Texas did sign two tight ends in the 2017 class – Reese Leitao and Cade Brewer – but neither has Ford’s physicality or versatility.
“The depth chart is a big factor. I want to look into all that. I want playing time and I’m not sure I want to wait until my junior year or senior year to play. That’s why Texas is intriguing, their depth chart,” Ford said.