It seemed like former Bulldog Luke Ford had an easy case to earn a waiver to play right away at Illinois this season. Emphasis on seemed like.
The former Georgia tight end transferred back home to Illinois in order to be closer to his family. Like a number of other prospects, Ford had applied for a waiver to gain eligibility for the 2019 season, so he would not have to sit out for the season.
While former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields was granted a waiver to play immediately at Ohio State, Ford revealed on Wednesday that his waiver has been denied.
Fields, and former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell both saw their waivers for immediate eligibility get approved earlier in the offseason, even though they changed schools largely due to concerns over playing time. Fields and Martell both hired lawyers to argue their cases in front of the NCAA. It’s unclear if Ford did with his case.
As the NCAA dragged on its decision regarding Ford, a number of Georgia fans rallied to support the former UGA tight end by using the hashtag #Freelukeford. Even Georgia wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman joined, sending out a tweet of his own in support of Ford.