JUCO LB Close to an Offer?

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State signed five junior college players this December and more may be on the way. The staff is close to extending an offer to Tyrone Ward, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker from City College of San Francisco. Ward spoke to KStateFans.com about his season and how his recruiting is shaping up heading into January.

"Kansas State hasn't offered me yet," said Tyrone Ward, "but I think they're in the process of doing so. I'm going to be speaking with Coach Cox soon after the dead period is over. I'm definitively interested and plan on making Kansas State one of my two or three visits before I decide."

So far, Ward has received one offer from Houston, and has attracted the attention of Memphis, UTSA, and Kansas State. In his second season as a starter at CCSF, Ward lead the charge on defense and helped the Rams to a 9-1 record.

"So many people would say we had a great season," Ward said, "but losing to Butte was hard. I learned a lot this year and became a stronger person and a stronger player in the process. We feel behind in a few games and I learned how to overcome adversity. It's hard to come back on a team. You just have to keep fighting and not give up. I also had a lot of responsibly being the team captain on defense.

"Last year I played inside linebacker, but this year they wanted to use my speed on the outside. I improved on using my eyesight on the offensive line, making my reads faster and playing the 'B' gaps, and making tackles in space on the wide receivers and running backs. Most of all I improved my on my overall knowledge of the game by understanding what everyone does around me and making sure the other players get it done right."

Ward said he had 95 tackles on the 2012 season with two interceptions (one pick six), seven tackles for loss, and two sacks. He was named All-NorCal Conference.

Originally from the Bay Area, Ward was a three year starter at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland playing for NFL great Hardy Nickerson. He said the time spent on the other side of the bay at CCSF has helped his development immensely.

"I had to grow up," said Ward. "I learned to depend on only myself and to stay dedicated. If you don't put in the hard work and have the dedication, you won't be successful."

Now that the season has ended and Ward has completed his studies at CCSF, he's hoping things will fall into place so he can continue his football career at the Division 1 level.

"I want to where I'm needed," explained Ward. "Depending on the schools that offer and the time frame, I'd like to enroll in January. I'm just hoping to find the best fit for me to be for the next two or three years of my life. A lot will depend on how the visits go and the time I spend with the coaching staff. I'm going to take visits to Houston and Kansas State and probably Memphis."

Ward is majoring in business and accounting. Since he graduated high school in 2011, he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining in the next three years.

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