There are two Denzel Wards connected to Syracuse University.
One frightens defensive linemen at 6’6” 307 lbs. that committed and signed with the Orange this past February as a member of the 2014 recruiting class. We can only hope another joins the SU bandwagon next winter in the Class of 2015.
Macedonia (Ohio) Nordonia cornerback Denzel Ward is 140 pounds lighter than the Syracuse bound offensive tackle Denzel Ward. The Orange offered the Class of 2015 Ward back on May 13th. He fields offers from some of the Midwest’s best, Michigan and Ohio State. Bowling Green, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Kent State, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Miami (Oh), Rutgers, Tennessee and Western Michigan have also offered.
In an interview with Cleveland.com’s Ari Wasserman in late March, Ward credits his legs for much of his success:
“My speed is a really important part of my game, and the coaches were telling me that they loved how fast I was. Now I just have to stay focused and get better with my technique and footwork.”
A 4.31 second-long 40-yard dash makes this Denzel Ward an attractive piece for a defensive backfield. Wasserman writes Ward has strong ties with Ohio State and Urban Meyer, as Ward is from The Buckeye State. The coaching staff at OSU likes the speed obviously. The raw talent certainly stands out, but like most recruits with speed, improvement in technique and footwork is always possible.
Ward has to be amped for an opportunity at Ohio State. However, still no offer from the Buckeyes despite Ward’s attendance at their April 12th spring game. Has OSU’s interest decreased in the last two months? Arguably the state of Ohio’s fastest high school player has said all the right things. Again with Wasserman before the spring game:
“I enjoyed going into the defensive meetings with Coach Coombs and watching him dissect the defense and talk about their game plan and scheme. That was really interesting. Then I enjoyed watching them practice later. They played physically, they played fast and it would be something I would love to do.”
It makes me believe Northeast programs like Syracuse and Rutgers are still in the hunt. Scott Shafer’s Midwest ties, as well as chances for immediate playing time could put upstate New York on Ward’s radar. As it tuns out, this is not a George McDonald prize, unfortunately. No long shot here considering SU has already offered and has been in touch.
Ward has blown up the Best of the Midwest Combine and the Orange wouldn’t mind this flash of talent at all. Let the summer swing settle in a bit. We’ll find out just how bad Ohio State wants Ward. If not, look for Syracuse to slide into the discussion more seriously.
Posted by: Brendan Glasheen