Ward Looking to Compete Early

Pack Pride talks with Fayetteville (GA) Starrs Mill punter Chris Ward after his recent official visit to NC State.

Going into the weekend there was no question that Fayetteville (Ga.) Starrs Mill punter Chris Ward would be suiting up for the Wolfpack in the fall. After the visit he’s still solid and more excited than ever about his future at NC State.

It can be tough for specialists to get attention at the high school level but Ward made the most of his opportunities this past fall for Starrs Mill. On the year he averaged 42 yards per punt while connecting on 6-of-8 field goals and 15-of-16 extra points.

Ward caught the eye of the Wolfpack coaching staff after a superb performance at NC State’s camp held last summer. He proved to be the most effective punter in attendance, getting great location, hang-time and distance on virtually every kick.

He committed to NC State shortly after landing an official offer from the Pack despite receiving interest from in-state schools Georgia and Georgia Tech, and he has not looked back since. He spoke with PackPride.com after returning home from his weekend trip to Raleigh.

“It went very well. I had tons of fun,” Ward recalled. “I just went out to dinner a couple of times. I was able to stay with Corey Tedder, a long snapper there. We went out and did a few things then met with the coaching staff once again. They just showed us around the campus a little bit.”

What are the expectations of Ward as his freshman year approaches?

“They’ve just told me a couple of things. They want me to go in there ready to show them what I can do. I’m pretty sure I’m just going to be competing for the punting job.”

Ward said he has not heard from any schools since committing to the Wolfpack several months ago, nor has he made contact with any.

Punting guru Chris Rafter rated Ward as the nation’s top punter prior to the start of the 2008 season.

Ward projects as an academic qualifier.

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