Bulldogs Blog

Luke Ford makes decision to transfer from Georgia to Illinois

Georgia tight end Luke Ford (45) during the Bulldogs’ practice on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)
Georgia tight end Luke Ford (45) during the Bulldogs’ practice on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

Luke Ford is in fact transferring from Georgia to Illinois. His Twitter announcement Friday was tagged from his hometown of Carterville, Illinois.

Ford announced his decision in a series of departures for Georgia on Friday. Isaac Nauta and Riley Ridley, two junior playmakers, declared for the 2019 NFL draft moments prior.

“Due to my grandparents’ deteriorating health and my family’s inability to afford to see me play each week,” Ford tweeted. “I will be transferring to the University of Illinois.”

Ford entered the transfer portal after the SEC Championship, and remained in Illinois for the first week of bowl practices due to family-related matters. A family source told The Telegraph that his leave of absence from the team would end Dec. 26, which it did, but wouldn’t divulge information on a potential transfer.

Ford revealed after Georgia’s 28-21 loss to Texas in the Sugar Bowl that the move wouldn’t be due to lack of playing time or opportunity. Ford was a five-star prospect in the 2018 class and signed with Georgia over Illinois, despite briefly going back-and-forth with the departure of former tight ends’ coach Shane Beamer to Oklahoma.

Georgia, however, was prepared for the move during the recruiting period. In the 2019 class, the Bulldogs signed only one tight end in Ryland Goede, but mapped out a plan for his freshman season with the idea that Nauta and Ford would depart the program.

So, the latest move is as expected for Georgia, and it is confident in the plan of action.

“You continue to recruit your butt off and do the best you can to put yourself in a position to have enough players in every position to be able to compete,” Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said.

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