Eric Ward, a 6-foot-0, 180-pound wide receiver from Rider High in Wichita Falls, Texas made a commitment to play for the Oklahoma Sooners after taking in the atmosphere of the program on an unofficial trip to see OU scrimmage in Norman on Saturday afternoon.
Ward was one of the quickest rising prospects in the "Lone Star State", but Scout.com Texas expert Alan Zepeda had a bead on his talent early on in the process and had him listed amongst the best players in the state before he even pulled down offer number one.
"Ward is not your big wide receiver who is a possession guy, instead he is your smaller playmaker," Zepeda said of his talents. "He excels at taking a short five to ten yard route and taking it the distance. Ward is electric… he does not give the opponents a clean shot at him and was the go to guy for his team when they needed a play"
Ward has a long way to go before he makes it in to the NFL draft, but that did not stop Zepeda from comparing him to current Carolina Panther star Steve Smith.
"One player who Ward resembles is Steve Smith," Zepeda admitted. "Both are on the short side of the coin but both make plays once the ball is in their hands."
Last season Ward's former teammate at Rider, safety Markelle Martin, committed to Texas A&M and Oklahoma before settling on Oklahoma State. His saga turned in to one of the oddest regional recruiting stories of the year.
Martin was certainly a big addition to the Cowboys' class, but Zepeda says had you inserted Ward's name in for Martin then both the Sooners and Aggies would still be licking their wounds.
"We love playmakers, those who can put the ball in the end zone on offense," Zepeda said with authority. "Ward is such a player, he makes defenses change their game plans to try to slow him down, because they will not stop him. He can change a game in a single play and those are hard to find. In the playoffs the team got in trouble against Everman, so the team went to Ward over and over again."
He is just that good….