It's been old news as far as recruits who hadn't gotten a whole lot of attention from the previous staff, only to find that the new staff was interested in them a great deal. One of those is Brenham two-way start Lester Ward. He got the call recently, the offer is on the table and he'll be visiting Nebraska this weekend.
It's a bit of a whirlwind that might have other recruits swimming a bit, but for Ward, who is still currently committed to Baylor, he takes most things in stride, viewing this as just another opportunity. " Nebraska is one of the powerhouse football programs in the United States . They have won of the most successful college football traditions there is," Ward said. "And they are highly accredited when it comes to academics. So, it was an easy choice to visit there once I realized they were still really interested in me."
Just looking at Ward on paper, there's a lot to be interested in, the standout athlete standing 6-3 and weighing just over 200 pounds. While many could easily see him as a safety or linebacker on the defensive side, Ward said that Nebraska had a more familiar position in mind. "They want me as a running back, which is what I want to play. So, that's good to know," Lester said. "I didn't get a chance to do much my senior season, because a hamstring injury kept me out most of it, but in the four games I was in, I think I had two games over a hundred yards and the other two were just under," he said.
At his height, Ward is a rarity amongst prep tailbacks as conventional wisdom has the average running back at least a full inch shorter. It's not something that Lester feels hurts him when it comes to movement, because he thinks it helps him more in many other ways. "Being a bit taller than most backs, I see the field a bit better, but the big advantage is how players try to tackle you," Ward said. "They go for the knees, and I think most running backs like that, because it's easier to just put your head forward and drive them into the dirt."
Ward has been considering a few other options since he committed to Baylor, Lester finding himself in the same situation as many other commits around the country, pledged to a school which has a coaching change at the top.
He'll visit Baylor next week to see just what the situation is and what may suit him best for the future. In trying to make sure he keeps all his options open, Ward has already visited Missouri and will visit TCU on the 25th. After that, it's obviously not a long time before he'll have to sign his name to one of those places come Letter of Intent Signing Day.
The trip to Nebraska this weekend is going to be like any other as he tries to get a feel for the place. But unlike many recruits who might be a bit disappointed they couldn't visit during the season, Ward wouldn't have it any other way. "There aren't as many distractions and I think now you get a much better feel for the place, the coaches and the people," he said. "It's important to me that I get a feel for the coaches, how they go about things and just the character of the people in charge.
"But I really like going when there isn't a game, because I want to choose a college based on the idea that this is a place I would go to school even if I wasn't playing football at all. Being able to play football and go to school on scholarship is just a blessing which not many kids get. But I am going to commit for the reasons which will benefit me the most in the future."
Lester said that regardless of how any of his individual visits might go he's firm in making sure to take the visits and not make any decisions until all of them are done. "You never want to think that if you make a decision too early, you might look back on this opportunity and wonder if you should have taken them all," Lester said. "It's too big of a decision to make those kinds of decisions without seeing the whole process through."
Brenham is home to a number of Division 1-A scholarship players, including quarterback Jarrett Lee and tight end Ahmard Howard, Lee currently at LSU while Howard is playing for the in-state powerhouse Texas Longhorns.