Big-time recruiting buzz surrounds Carterville High receiver
Luke Ford's mailbox has been filling up lately.
Such is life for a football prospect like Ford, a junior receiver/linebacker at Carterville High School who has seen his stock rise in the eyes of the nation's college programs.
That attention kicked up a bit last month, when MaizeNBrew.com, SB Nation's University of Michigan sports blog, published a short feature on Ford being sent information from the Wolverines' venerable program.
“It's an honor,” Ford said in an interview with the Southwest Illinois News.
The SB Nation article said Ford has received interest from Minnesota, Ball State, Colorado State, Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois and North Dakota.
Ford told the News that he received information from UCLA on Oct. 5 and recently visited Indiana University.
“It was actually really awesome,” Ford said about the Indiana trip. “They took me around the whole facility. I got to meet the coaches, got to go on the field. It was really nice.”
The interest has picked up considerably since Ford went camping this summer – attending football camps, that is.
Ford said he went to a camp hosted by University of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, as well as an elite-prospect camp at the University of Missouri. Prior to that, Ford received notices from NCAA Division II and Division III schools. However, since this football season began, the interest has come from Division I schools.
Ford has not received any scholarship offers yet, but the schools have sent him notes that he is on their radar and that they want him to come for a visit. For example, Ford told MaizeNBrew.com that Michigan coaches would be watching his progress during the season and that they considered him a top prospect in his class.
“I mean, it's really overwhelming,” Ford told the News about the attention. “But I'm grounded in my faith, and I just have to be humble and lovable.”
Although Ford said he hasn't made a decision yet, of all the schools that have contacted him, he indicated that he has deep ties with Southern Illinois. For one thing, he said his brother, Noah, is a redshirt freshman on the football team there, and Ford said he always has wanted to be like Noah, who also pushed him to be better athletically.
For another thing, SIU Head Coach Nick Hill used to be his neighbor.
“I like him a lot,” Ford said. “I've been keeping in contact with him lately.”
Ford said he wants to work on getting stronger, a little bit faster, and improving at going airborne and getting the ball in midair. Ford also said he picked up a lot of information at the camps, especially Saban's camp, which stressed effort, pride, commitment and attitude.
“At this point in the game, I've just got to keep getting faster, stronger, keep my head on straight and be humble,” Ford said.
As far as the staying-humble part, Ford said his dad helps there.
“My dad, I can hear from the stands sometimes, yelling at me,” Ford said, chuckling.
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