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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Illinois TE transfer Luke Ford denied waiver appeal by NCAA

Illinois tight end transfer Luke Ford has been denied his waiver appeal by the NCAA.

Ford transferred from Georgia to Illinois in January and filed for a waiver from the NCAA to be granted immediate eligibility. He was denied in April and then appealed the decision. The NCAA announced on Friday that they have upheld the decision, thus denying the appeal.

Ford was the top recruit in the state of Illinois in 2018 but enrolled at Georgia. He had one catch for four yards last season. The Carterville, Ill. product had Illinois in his final five schools but chose Georgia over the Illini, Texas A&M, Alabama and Auburn. He transferred to be closer to home.

“Luke Ford was the top-rated recruit in the state of Illinois his senior year and we worked very hard in developing a great relationship during his recruitment,” Illini head coach Lovie Smith said in a statement about the transfer in January. “It’s not unusual for athletes wanting to be near home so that family members are close by, and we are extremely happy that Luke felt Illinois was the place for him to attend school and play football after making the decision to transfer. He is a very skilled tight end with terrific size and athleticism who can play every down as both a pass catcher and blocker. Luke has an outstanding family and we look forward to them joining our football family. We know Luke is very close to his grandparents and this should allow them much easier access to his games.”

He sent this tweet after the decision was announced:

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