Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Michigan Wolverines [Print without images]

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
2014 OT Ward calls U-M offer 'dream'

By Tom VanHaaren

Offensive lineman Denzel Ward (Chicago/Hales Franciscan) was the only prospect to receive a Michigan offer while visiting for the Illinois game on Saturday.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "I'll be up there next week [for the Michigan State game] as well to continue building the relationships."

The 6-foot-9 junior now holds offers from Michigan and Purdue, but has been hearing from other Big Ten and SEC programs. Since he really has been playing football for only one season, Ward is taking everything in stride and with his eyes wide open.

The visit to Ann Arbor might have helped him with figuring out how he really feels about Michigan, though. The experience was one that almost didn't happen as he was scheduled to visit Purdue and decided to go to Ann Arbor instead the night before the game. A decision that obviously paid off in more ways than just receiving the offer from the Wolverines.

"I got to meet a lot of the team and the staff, which was great. I spoke with Coach [Brady] Hoke, Coach [Darrell] Funk and Coach [Jeff] Hecklinski about everything," he said. "Just to see how the environment was and how loud the fans were. It wasn't even a rivalry game either, so I'm excited to see that this weekend."

Ward also got to meet star player Denard Robinson, which he described as exhilarating. The comfort level with Michigan was high after the trip, and part of that was due to one of the Michigan commits that he was already familiar with.

"I went with Logan Tuley-Tillman [Peoria, Ill./Manual], because we work out together at the same facility with Core 6," he said. "It definitely helped because you want to be comfortable and have someone you can learn from."

Ward is also good friends with current Michigan offensive lineman Chris Bryant, who is also from Chicago.

The positives for Michigan have built up fast in Ward's recruitment and the fact he will be back on campus so soon is an excellent sign. The excitement and atmosphere of a rivalry game like Michigan and Michigan State can often wrap up a recruit and his emotions. Ward has said that he isn't sure when he will make a decision, and that he isn't quite sure yet what to expect from his visit on Saturday.

WolverineNation’s Chantel Jennings caught up with Ward at his high school recently. For more on the towering prospect, click here.