and has proven to be the definition of a dynamic football player. The coaching staff helps Ward Jr. prepare mentally and physically each week ensuring that he is ready to do whatever it takes to epitomize whichever role is required of him.
Since Ward Jr. left Tyler, Texas and joined the Houston Cougar football program, he has been a receiver, punt returner and switched in and out at quarterback, making his weekly practice and game day preparation schedule a vigorous one.
“I made sure that I was always holding myself accountable, staying after practice, watching film, knowing where everybody is supposed to be on the field, just getting really familiar with the playbook,” Ward Jr. said.
John O’Korn was pulled from the UCF game this season, giving Ward Jr. only one important job to focus on. Ward Jr. is 2-0 in his first two career starts at quarterback this season.
“Everybody is behind me and they have confidence in me, so that right there helps me gain confidence in myself that we can go far,” Ward Jr. said.
Ward Jr. has shown that he is a dual-threat quarterback, being comfortable in the pocket and connecting with his receivers, as well as being able to make quick decisions on his feet. So far this season, Ward Jr. has one receiving touchdown, two rushing touchdowns and three passing touchdowns. Playing and understanding the other positions has helped contribute to his success as QB1.
“Playing receiver helped me know where the receivers want the ball, and what time they want it,” Ward Jr. said.
The coaching staff has been hesitant to make offensive calls involving deep passes as Ward Jr. has slipped into his new starting role, but Ward Jr. feels confident now in his passing ability for that type of gutsy play calling.
“I’m very comfortable in doing that, we already had some passes like that and I just missed my reads, but yes I’m very comfortable with it,” Ward Jr. said.
During the month of October, Ward Jr. embodied a true student athlete, making the American Athletic Conference honor roll twice. Ward Jr. says that having “tunnel vision” is the key to managing a full plate of responsibilities on and off the field.
As Ward Jr. leads the 4-3 Cougars into the remaining five games of the season, he is striving to achieve the goals he has for himself and the team.
“…Dedicate myself more to the game, be a more vocal leader for my team, and try to lead my team to a victory,” Ward Jr. said. “…And that’s not all on me, it starts with everybody, it’s everybody coming together for a common goal.”