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Illinois tight end Luke Ford, a transfer from Georgia, has been denied immediate eligibility, both the athlete and Illini announced Wednesday.

Around 3:30 p.m., Ford tweeted: "My Waiver got denied... Thanks for all your support," followed by a sad-face emoji. The tweet then continued: "It’s all in the Lord’s timing," with a praying emoji.

"We’re all disappointed Luke Ford’s waiver request for immediate eligibility was denied," Illinois sports information director Kent Brown later said in a text to The News-Gazette. "There is an appeal process that we intend (to) help Luke explore."

The consensus No. 1 in-state prospect for 2018, Ford officially transferred to Illinois in January 2019 after his freshman year with the Bulldogs. He desired to be closer to his hometown of Carterville to be closer to his ill grandfather.

Ford still has three years of eligibility remaining with the Illini.