Wake May Offer Ward Soon

Offensive tackle Justin Ward is turning the heads of college coaches across North Carolina. He was so impressive at a recent Wake Forest camp, the Deacs just might offer.

"I attended the Wake camp last Sunday and it went really, really well," said Justin Ward, a rising senior at Rockingham County High School in Wentworth, N.C. "Coach Lobo (offensive coordinator Steve Lobotzke) worked with me just about all day. Coach McCartney called me right when I got back home and said, ‘Justin, you really impressed us at camp.'

"They told me they wanted to see my film, and once they watch it they're going to do one of two things. They'll either offer me right away, or they'll wait until the first game of my senior season to make my decision. I feel good about it." Were the Deacs to offer, it might bode well for their chances. Other schools are still very much in the hunt, however.

"I'm very interested in Wake," he said. "If they offered it would be a huge deal. They have a great program and the school is great too. My two offers are from Marshall and Buffalo, and I think that list will grow soon. I'm hearing a lot from (North) Carolina, NC State, Duke and East Carolina too. Virginia is real high on me. The way things look now I'll be able to stay close to home.

"The thing I'm most interested in will be the prestige of the school itself. If you get that degree from a top school, you've set yourself up well for the future. You have to plan as if you aren't going to play football professionally, because anything can happen. Number two will be the atmosphere around the school. By that I mean where it's located and what kind of people are there. I want to play for coaches that make you feel comfortable, and I want to play on a winning football team."

At 6-4, 292-pounds Ward has good physical ability matched only by his work ethic and attitude. "What I'll bring to a team is a winning attitude," explained Ward. "That's what I try to do every day here with my high school team. If you're down on yourself or if you get down on your teammates it's going to hurt everybody. It's important to always have a positive attitude and build people up. I'll also bring a big-time work ethic. I know that it takes a lot of hard work to win. In high school a lot of guys like to take it easy and sort of rely on their talent to get it done, because here they can. But at the next level everybody has the talent, and I've built good work habits. When you combine the talent with the work ethic, that's what I think I'll bring."

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