Texas RB Offers Mizzou the Total Package

In its efforts to poach from the deep, self-replenishing talent pool that is the state of Texas, Missouri sometimes finds itself waiting on players who, likewise, are waiting on offers from some of the regional powers – Texas and Oklahoma, most often. But that isn't the case with Brenham (TX) running back Lester Ward.

One of the first offers the 6-foot-3, 190-pound standout received came from Mizzou, and that's a good thing.

"I'm not waiting for any school in particular, I'm happy with what I've got," said Ward, who plans to visit MU in the late summer or during the upcoming season. "The schools that offer you the earliest are usually the ones that want you the most."

It's not difficult to understand why Ward has offers from so many schools that he had to step away from the phone and find his list, so as not to leave any out. Missouri, Nebraska, UCLA, Baylor, Tulane, TCU, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Rice all have tendered offers. Ward is an excellent student who plans on majoring in pre-law, mature beyond his years and – oh, by the way – can run with the football a bit as well.

Last year he rushed for more than 900 yards and eight scores and had 200-plus receiving yards despite missing four games with an ankle injury. He's got a combination of great size and skill that makes him a promising running back on the high-DI level. He finished third in the state in the 110-meter hurdles as a freshman and sophomore. He runs a 4.55-second 40-yard dash, impressive for a player of his size.

"Along with my size, I've got great finesse. But I don't only play with finesse – I'm a physical players and I don't mind running you over if I need to. If I see I don't need to run you over, I'll just put a step on and get you out of my way," he said.

Ward's recruitment seems to be 100 percent open; he has not been able to visit any of his schools yet and has not had a chance to evaluate very much.

"It's hard to make a decision when you still haven't seen much of anything," he said. "One thing I do know about the school I'll go to is the education. I know a little bit about [Missouri's academic profile] but I'll look into it a lot more."

"And of course, you have to look at the football side of things: What kind of tradition do they have? What is the relationship between the coaches and the players. What is the relationship among players?" he said. "I know that will be my attitude going into it."

Ward has had a chance to get to know MU assistant coach Brian Jones, his primary recruiter from MU.

"He seems like a straightforward kind of guy who'll let you know how it is. I think I'm able to read between the lines, and he seems like a man of integrity. The way I look at it is, the assistant coach is usually [a reflection of] the head coach. So the head coach is probably a man of integrity," he said.

"I'm looking forward to meeting" Coach Pinkel.

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