Ward reflects on LSU commitment

La Marque, Texas junior Clarence Ward has some experience holding up a state championship trophy as he and his Cougar teammates captured the Class 4A, Division II crown in dramatic fashion in December.

Ward apparently has a fixation with playing for championship programs and wearing purple and gold jerseys.


The 6-1, 175-pound free safety verbally committed Thursday to play college football for Nick Saban and the co-national champion LSU Tigers.


Going from one champion to another would be reason enough to attend a school. Ward's reason was a little simpler.


"I've been a fan of the school since I was 10 or 11 and I just liked the colors," Ward said. "Ever since then I knew that's where I wanted to be."


Ward said he received scholarship offers from LSU, Texas A&M and Missouri and interest from Oklahoma, UCLA, Texas, Arizona, Brigham Young, Northwestern, TCU, SMU and Illinois.


Ward said that it's just a blessing that the school he wanted to go to was just as interested in him as he was in it. "Once (LSU) offered me a scholarship, I just wanted to jump at the opportunity," Ward said.


La Marque head coach Bryan Erwin said Ward's choice wasn't a difficult one to make. "He's always wanted to go there," Erwin said. "It's been a dream for Clarence to go to LSU, and it was totally 100 percent what he wanted to do."


Ward's accolades include first-team Class 4A All-State selection, first-team 23-4A All-District and a member of The Daily News' All-County defensive first team.


"He's a big-time player who makes big-time plays," Erwin said. "He had over 100 tackles, five interceptions and four defensive touchdowns.


"Every time the ball was on the ground, he was in the picture. We called him ‘The Garbage Man' because he's there to scoop up the ball. He's wherever the ball is."


Ward will probably be under enough pressure with the phrase "defending state champion" in front the Cougars' name this season. He'll also be trying to fill the shoes of exiting quarterback Larry Kerlegan as the Cougars' next signal caller.


"I'm not going to be playing too much at free safety this season so I wanted to make the decision now," Ward said.


Erwin said by choosing a college now, that decision won't be one of Ward's concerns next season. "It alleviates the pressure of the recruiting process," Erwin said. "If he wanted to look at other places, I don't think this would have been the right thing for Clarence to do. But it's been a lifelong dream to go to LSU."

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