The Illinois football team looks to be making some serious moves for the future this upcoming summer.
Lovie Smith and the Illini coaching staff landed defensive end Christian Bell on Tuesday. This was a big get considering he can come into the program for a year and play right away. But, after the 2020 campaign, Bell is going to need to be replaced. One option might be superstar defensive end, Travion Ford.
Ford is a 6-foot-2, 222-pound weak-side defensive end from Lutheran North High School and resides in St. Louis, Missouri. He is rated as a four-star recruit who is the No. 141 player in the class of 2021 and the No. 8 weak-side defensive end in the nation. He is also the No. 2 player in the state of Missouri.
Just about every team in the nation has come for Ford. This kid has drawn scholarships from teams like Alabama, LSU and Michigan, just to name a few. But it looks like his recruitment is starting to come to an end.
Travion Ford @Tre_Got_Skills will be taking official visits to Louisville May 29-31, Illinois June 12-14, and Mizzou June 19-21. A decision on the final two visits will be made at a later date. You can go anywhere from here. #scholarshiphigh #keepworking #RecruitLutheranNorth pic.twitter.com/LRRseGz2By
— Coach Reed (@CoachReed314) March 11, 2020
On Tuesday night, Ford’s head coach at Lutheran North, Coach Reed, released Ford’s official visit schedule so far. He has visits set up for Louisville on May 29-31. That visit is followed up by Illinois on June 12-14. The third visit is scheduled for Missouri on June 19-21. Two more visits will be scheduled at a later date, according to the tweet.
This is huge news for the Orange and Blue. Illinois could use a player like Ford on the defensive line. I believe this upcoming NFL Draft is going to help the Illini be more attractive too. Seeing a player like defensive end Wole Betiku get picked by an NFL team would show a player like Ford he can come to Illinois and make it to the league.
Illinois is going to need Ford for depth in 2021 too. Isaiah Gay and Bell should be the starters this season at defensive end. Both of those players are gone after this upcoming campaign. I have Owen Carney Jr. as a primary backup in 2020. He is departing after this season too. That leaves a bunch of unproven, talented, players on the roster. We will need more depth.
I am excited to see Illinois get an official visit from Ford. He has a chance to be a great player at the next level. I just hope it is with the Illini.