Sunday, April 21, 2013
OL Ward still has Gators on top
By Derek Tyson
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Offensive tackle prospect Denzel Ward didn't participate at the IMG 7v7 Southeast regional championships over the weekend at IMG Academy, where he attends school, but the 6-foot-8, 305-pound lineman came out to watch the competitive tournament.
Ward took time out to talk about the latest with his recruiting.
The former Michigan commit named Florida his leader at the Orlando NFTC in March and Ward said the Gators are still his top choice.
Denzel Ward is still high on Florida but is starting to hear from several other powerful SEC programs.
"Yes, that is the case," Ward said. "Nobody else is in there yet. I will be making a top five probably June or July so I'm just waiting until then and hopefully spring ball will give me about 10-15 more offers."
The big tackle said he has developed a strong relationship with Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis.
"[We have a] great relationship," Ward said. "Actually we were just talking this week he was just telling me how I should try to take DJ's [Humphries] spot. He is trying to create that rivalry between us all the time and I actually got to learn some stuff from him. He was just telling me what I should do as an offensive lineman and little key tips and things like that. He is not really recruiting so much -- just telling me how to just become a better player and has my best interest at heart."
It's not just Davis who Ward has a strong relationship with. Florida quarterback commit Will Grier, the No. 45-ranked player in the country, has also made it a point to befriend the massive prospect.
"We talk every week or so, we tweet all the time so yeah thats a good friend of mine," Ward said. "We talk about recruiting and being roommates and things like that and how our class is going to be like a family and how our class is going to make an impact as freshmen and make an early impact like all together."
Though he has Florida at the top of his list, Ward said he was excited to hear there is a new school that is starting to show interest.
"I heard Alabama was coming down here," he said. "Me and the offensive line coach (Mario Cristobal) built a relationship, he played at Miami actually -- he is a really cool guy. The really big thing for me is I just want to go to a school with an offensive line that plays the whole line and they have a good tradition of it."
Ward also has family ties to Louisiana and said he would love to hear more from the LSU.
"My whole family is from New Orleans," he said. "My mother was actually my first family member who moved up to Chicago she, actually, was alumni at LSU. She played on the basketball team there so I'd just kind of like to experience it and see where my family went to school and what it's all about. I have family that goes to games every week still."
As for when he will make a decision, Ward said it will not be until after he visits Florida in November.
"I want to see really what happens this spring to set all five of my officials to and then after the spring I am just really going to release that top five and communicate with those schools," he said. "Then after that take my last official to Florida Nov. 30 and make my descion the next few weeks."