Hilton Head Island's Ford decommits from Louisville

Seahawks star has added visits to Texas, Oregon, Missouri; South Carolina does not appear to be in play

ccox@islandpacket.comJanuary 10, 2014 

Hilton Head Island High School defensive lineman Poona Ford, the 2013 Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette Defensive Player of the Year, has committed to the Texas Longhorns, following coach Charlie Strong.

JAY KARR — Staff photo Buy Photo

Poona Ford's services are once again available.

The Hilton Head Island High defensive tackle decommitted from Louisville on Friday morning, officially declaring the four-star tackle's talents back on the market for a host of interested schools.

"I think just through the whole last week, he's run the gambit of emotions from surprised, shocked disappointed and upset," Seahawks coach B.J. Payne said. " ... He's getting thrown back into the fire again and he's got three weeks to make a decision."

Ford, who committed to the Cardinals in August, began to waiver on his commitment following coach Charlie Strong's departure to Texas. He may be reunited with his future coach yet, however, as the Seahawks standout will take one of his official visits to the Longhorns on Jan. 17.

The Big 12 power recently offered Ford and appears to be the leader with National Signing Day less than a month away.

Oregon -- which extended an offer on Wednesday -- also earned a Jan. 24 visit, as did Missouri, which has been in on his recruitment virtually since the beginning. Ford will visit the Tigers Jan. 31.

The hometown South Carolina Gamecocks did not receive one of Ford's officials, though he can take as many as five per NCAA rules. Payne called running backs coach Everette Sands, Ford's recruiter, Thursday evening to deliver the news.

"There's still three weeks left, so I don't know," Payne said, "but as of right now he does not plan to go to visit there or go to school there."

The Cardinals failed to earn a visit after reaching a decision on their newest head coach. Ford took a wait-and-see approach to his commitment until Louisville made a hire, but opted to depart once the school settled on Bobby Petrino, who has now made four different stops since 2008.

The new coaching staff -- despite having a handful of holdovers -- failed to reach out to Ford after the change, which helped convince him to decommit, Payne said.

"When this transition took place, obviously he was waiting for somebody from there to reach out to him," he said. "That happens during coaching changes and things like that. Some other recruits were reached out to and talked to."

Ford was named The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette's defensive player of the year this season after he led the Seahawks with 135 tackles, 28 for loss and seven sacks. He was a Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection and represented the Seahawks in the Semper Fi All-American Bowl.

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