August 29, 2008

Four-star runner ranks schools

Some would say standing a mere 5-foot-10 and weighing just 186 pounds as a running back is far from the ideal height considered for that particular position.

Apparently Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) running back Trabis Ward didn't get the memo.

In his junior season Ward scored 20 rushing touchdowns backed by over 1,700 yards on the ground, which could be a reason the running back finds himself rated as a four-star prospect in the Rivals250.

Such numbers usually lead to attention from an array of different schools, and a few in particular have caught Ward's attention.

"Right now I am looking pretty much at South Carolina, Ohio State, Miami, and Florida State," said Ward, who also drew some interest from Toledo, Troy, and Central Florida.

While all schools on his list still have a chance, Ward has been most impressed with South Carolina.

Ward has been in steady contact with officials at South Carolina, which may be one of the primary reasons the running back is high on the Gamecocks.

When asked to list his top three, Ward respond, "South Carolina, Ohio State, and Florida State."

"(South Carolina) is who Ohio State is battling with right now," Ward said. "Because they run kind of the same thing. South Carolina just had a success back, too, so that shows me that they could come out and make a better player. If you are good, they can make you great."

Even so, Ohio State still is an attractive offer for Ward.

Though Ohio State has been known as "Linebacker U," running backs that have donned a Buckeye uniform aren't too shabby. Whether you look back to Eddie George or gaze at the present with Beanie Wells, Ohio State surely is an attractive options for running back recruits.

Ward may have even more incentive to think twice about the Buckeyes.

"(Ohio State's) type of offense just fits me," Ward said. "That's like my running schemes at my high school, so that's good. They have the quick-cut offense and they try to get in and get out, and that's what I am used to right now at my high school.

"I am used to running that kind of offense," Ward added, "and anything else will be different to me because I am a north and south guy."

Rutgers was a school that was high on Ward's list because of their strong running back tradition, including running back Ray Rice, who just left the Scarlet Knights for the NFL.

While Ward was high on Rutgers a little over a month ago, a lack of communication may be having the running back thinking twice about the New Jersey school.

"I just haven't heard from them," Ward said.

Ward said Ohio State, on the other hand, has continued to keep in contact with him. Though Ward couldn't recall the coach's name he had been in contact with, he thinks it was Buckeyes offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman.

"We are talking about when I get down there and grades and stuff," Ward said.

Ward is currently in the process of coordinating his visits, but the running back knows where he would like to go.

"I am setting up my visits," Ward said, "I am going to South Carolina, LSU, Florida State, Ohio State, and Rutgers."

Patience has been key for Ward, who said he plans on taking his time with the decision before he makes his announcement and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Ward's team opens its season tonight.

"I am feeling well, I am ready to play," Ward said. "I feel like I've been out for a long time because it took the season a long time to pop back up, but I am ready to get back going."

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