December 16, 2011

Florida Receiver Has Top 2

Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic wide receiver Chad Ward is thankful for a lot of things. These days, he is most thankful that he is going to have an opportunity to play football at the next level.

The 6'3", 185 pound Atlantic product committed to the Florida Atlantic Owls a few months ago, but has re-opened his recruitment as of late, and says he will likely choose between FAU and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.

On the season, Atlantic finished with a 6-4 record, but did not qualify for the playoffs. Their slate of games included a tough contest against perennial powerhouse Dwyer. Ward flourished down the stretch, and finished the year with some pretty good numbers.

"I finished the season with 29 catches, 413 yards and 5 touchdowns," Ward said. "I would have liked to have more catches and yards but I'm thankful for what I got because those 413 yards have gotten me a couple of offers and established myself in recruiting."

To date, Ward holds offers from Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee and Bryant. He has, however, started receiving heavy interest from schools like Minnesota, Bowling Green, Mississippi State, Georgia Southern, and Southern Illinois.

The 2-star receiver's next step is to set up some official visits.

"I haven't taken any yet but I plan on taking one to Middle Tennessee and FAU and I have to cancel my visit to Southern Illinois because it's the week of my All-Star game," Ward said.

Ward announced a final four of schools on Twitter recently, and says that of that list, he has a top-two picked out.

"I would have to go with FAU as my No. 1 because I'm committed to them and my No. 2 is now Middle Tennessee," Ward said. "Those are my top two schools right now."

So what will be the deciding factor in Chad Ward's recruitment? Well, for Ward, there are just a few things that stick out in his mind.

"I want a great, quality, education and a chance to play ball - I would like to play early so if I get a chance at any of those schools it that would weigh in on my decision," Ward remarked. "I'd like some excitement on campus and good fans, people that support you, and a school that can complete my education and athletic goals."

Of all of those things though, Ward expressed a strong desire to be able to see the field early. He is also willing to do whatever it takes.

"The main thing I want to do is to just get on the field," Ward said. "I have a great work ethic. I'll sacrifice my body on special teams - I'll return kicks for you, I'll drop on special team and make a tackle, or make a serious block. Whatever it takes."

Ward has primarily been recruited by Coach Bibee of the Blue Raider staff, and has had talks with head coach Rick Stockstill as well. MT is heavily after Ward, and he has liked hearing what they have had to say.

"I know that they are looking for at least five wide receivers in this class," Ward said. "The way that Coach Bibee and Coach Stock are talking, I'm probably one of their top priorities. They said I can flat out play and everybody on the coaching staff loves me."

While Florida Atlantic currently occupies the top spot on Ward's list, he admitted that things are changing, and he might be changing his mind.

"I'm leaning towards Middle Tennessee because it's a great school," Ward said. "I can't wait to get on a visit up there. I've got an uncle up there so he's told me about Tennessee and I prefer going out of state so right now I'm just weighing my options."

For now, Ward is staying busy with playing basketball for Atlantic and also preparing himself for the Palm Beach County-Treasure Coast All-Star Game that will be held on January 14, formerly known as the Outback Bowl.

Ward will line up at wide receiver for the National team.

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