With several teammates also being recruited, but still searching for Big Ten offers, Ward was reminded by his older counterparts to be appreciative of his Purdue offer, which he earned at their camp recently.
"It felt great," he said. "A lot of guys on the team told me it's a big accomplishment. Some teammates told me that the MAC and other things weren't as big as that and when I sat down with Coach Hope, he told me the big conferences to him were the Big Ten, SEC and NFL, so that was a great accomplishment."
Ward's cousin Robert Gregory is a 2012 signee of the Boilermakers. Making the offer even greater is what Ward was able to see of the school.
"It's a great campus, great environment and all the coaches make me feel at home, and all the coaches were family people."
At the Illinois camp, Ward says he was forced to get better by the coaching and motivation.
"It was great. They pushed me harder, made me go harder than my limits."
As for the interest level the Illini showed, Ward says, "They didn't say much now. They seemed like they're really interested in me, so we'll see how it goes from here on."
Ward may continue to head to camps too.