Former UGa. Pledge Considering UNC

Tempted by the increased interest attained during the Evaluation Period, Martin Ward decided to de-commit from Georgia back in May.

"I felt like I was arrested a little bit and I wasn't really getting the full experience of recruiting," said Ward. "I didn't want schools to not recruit me because I was committed. I wanted to get the full effects with no strings attached. And I didn't want to hold [UGa] back when I was going to keep going to other schools."

Ward, a 5-foot-9 190-pound tailback from Jonesboro (Ga.) Mount Zion, originally verbally committed to UGa back in November.

He had already possessed offers from Clemson, Florida, and South Carolina, but right after de-committing Ward was extended a scholarship offer by North Carolina.

Taking advantage of his new status, Ward made unofficial trips to Clemson and South Carolina, as well as Georgia.

Additionally, Ward decided to attend UNC's one-day camp held in early June.

"They were talking about how they're rebuilding and how they're becoming a big school in their conference," said Ward. "I want to be a part of something special. So I wanted to see what they were talking about."

While Ward's experience was short-lived, he definitely enjoyed himself.

"We could only stay for a little bit, because we had to get back," said Ward. "We had stayed for the first part of camp and it was great. The coaches were very energetic. It was great. I got to meet a lot of kids from down in my area and up there in North Carolina."

Ward spent the entire practice session with running back coach Ken Browning.

"He was cool and laid back," said Ward. "He wasn't as loud as everybody else, but he got his point across. He walked us through step-by-step. Every time we came through the drills, he told us what we needed to do to get better."

Although limited by the length of his stay, Ward was able to learn about UNC and his recruitment during his stay.

"It's a great school," said Ward. "I didn't really know they had big interest in me, but after I got to sit down with the offensive coordinator [John Shoop] and Coach ‘Thig' [Tommy Thigpen] I learned what they're about. It's a good school to go to. They have a great coaching staff. I'd love to be a part of that."

Despite the positive sentiments, Ward claims to not have any favorite schools.

Thigpen is Ward's primary recruiter for UNC and keeps in contact with Ward weekly.

After rushing for 970 yards and seven touchdowns on 129 carries (7.5-yard average) as a sophomore, Ward blew up during his junior season. With just 20 more rushes, Ward increased his yardage to 1,379 yards (9.2-yard average) and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 181 yards and another touchdown.

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