Ward Details WVU Visit

Globe Institute (N.Y.) defensive tackle Jihad Ward is one of the top remaining prospects remaining on West Virginia's board, and the defensive standout visited the Mountaineers this weekend.

Already possessing offers from several top programs, Globe Institute defensive lineman Jihad Ward visited West Virginia this weekend.

Ward, who holds an impressive offer list that includes West Virginia, Washington, Texas Tech, Tennessee, USF and Illinois, discussed his Mountaineer visit experience.

"Everything was good, it was really good," Ward said about his first trip to WVU "I liked all the players. They showed me so much love and I can definitely see myself going to West Virginia."

While on his visit, Ward spent most of his time with assistant coach Brian Mitchell. While the two spent time touring the campus, Mitchell stressed the importance of finding a home, not a school.

"He made me realize I had a good opportunity there, a home," he said. "He kept asking me do I feel comfortable there. I realize that every top program will have weight rooms and practice facilities. The main thing he told me was I needed to feel comfortable. I know that if not, then I won't want to go to class or practice. So I need to feel comfortable -- I definitely feel that way at West Virginia."

"All the coaches kept asking me for my input, my point of view on things," he continued. "I've never had that at any visits. It just felt so good there."

Another important fact for Ward is the ability for his mother, who currently resides in Philadelphia, to watch her son play at the next level. MO< "One great thing about West Virginia is my mom can come watch me play, and that's important," Ward said. "She's only in Philadelphia so it wouldn't be difficult for her to watch me. Plus, I know (current Mountaineer) Daryl Worley because he's from my hometown, so that's good that I have someone I already have a bond with."

On the field, Ward believes he could help West Virginia immediately next season. That, in particular, is a key point outlined by the Mountaineer coaches, who are looking for defensive linemen that can help fill the gaps left by departing seniors Will Clarke, Shaq Rowell and Trevor Demko.

"They talked to me a lot about playing right off the bat," he said. "I told them I promise you I'll always give 100% on the football field. I'm going to do my part on the field. That's why I focused so much on my classroom work because I know when I'm on the field, I'll handle my business."

Recently, the 6-foot-7, 285-pounder named a top three of West Virginia, Washington and USF. After this weekend, have the Mountaineers moved ahead?

"Oh yeah, West Virginia definitely bolted themselves up, definitely bolted themselves toward the top of my list," Ward said. "I'm going to have a couple of schools meet with my mother in-home so I can combine my thoughts with hers. But West Virginia definitely is a school I like a lot."

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