OL Justin Ward from Rockingham County High School in Wentworth, NC recently picked up his first scholarship offer from Marshall. Ward called it a great honor to get that first pledge but it likely won't be the last for this talented rising senior.
At 6-4, 284 pounds, Ward was timed at 5.62-seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Shrine Bowl combine held at Ragsdale High School earlier this year. He has a solid frame and a ton of upside and that has kept him busy entertaining interest from numerous colleges over the last several weeks.
To date, Ward has been in touch with schools like East Carolina, NC State, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, Penn State, South Carolina, Marshall, Stanford, Alabama and Buffalo. One school in particular has made a positive first impression and East Carolina finds itself as one of Ward's main schools of contention.
"I went down there for their spring game and it was a great atmosphere," said Ward. "It was a fun place to be at with a lot of stuff to do. I loved the way the coaching staff welcomes you and they make you feel close to them.
"I liked the campus and I like what they're doing with the program. Coach Shankweiler was able to talk to me and he said ‘you can look at all your options and look at ECU but make the best choice for me' and I respected that. I love ECU. They're building up that program and they're really looking good. I'm going down there to camp and they said to expect an offer if everything goes well."
While he continues to evaluate his options, Ward maintains that he hasn't yet formulated a favorite's list.
"It's really been fun hearing from all these colleges and this summer is going to be a fun-filled summer and I'm looking forward to hearing what the coaches have to say," said Ward. "I'll probably pick some favorites after camp but right now everyone's even. I just enjoy hearing from all these schools and everyone has a chance."
Ward said he plans to be at East Carolina's football camp on June 13th and will follow that up with subsequent trips to UNC and Duke.
Stay tuned as Inside ECU Sports will continue to follow Ward over the coming months.