Speed kills and that is what linebacker Michael Ward of Georgia Southern has. Ward who has been timed as fast as 4.48 in the 40 is a speedy outside linebacker who also has played middle linebacker as well. Ward has a non-stop motor that gets off blockers quickly and makes plays down the line of scrimmage. He does a good job in pass coverage, and has the ability to be a nickel or dime linebacker as well as a special teams star.
"Speed is my number one asset, I do a good job in coverage and have good coverage skills, in the cover two and the cover four," said Ward. "Their where times when I had to go over and cover the number two wide receiver in the slot, and I was able to do that, as well."
Ward is strong as well and has done 23 reps of 225, has the squat record at GSU at 615 pounds and power cleaned 370 pounds during their off-season program last year. When asked who Ward patterns his game after, he says the Bears Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher.
"I had a chance to meet him last month in Atlanta, I love watching him play and how he files around the ball and makes plays, that is that I try to do," said Ward.
Besides being fast and strong, Ward also has a 35'' vertical jump, a 10'6" broad jump and ran a 4.15 in the short shuttle. The only thing that keeps Ward from being a top draft choice is his size which is 6-1 228.
"I want to make sure that given my size and the skills that I have that I can be the best football player, that I have the ability to be," Ward said.
Many teams have scouted Ward and worked him out the teams showing the most interest are the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and the Washington Redskins.
Last season at Georgia Southern, Ward had 62 tackles in only 12 games. He started the first six games before injuring his shoulder. This slowed his contributions during middle portion of schedule. In 2001 Ward started all 14 games, and was fourth on squad with 85 tackles, six-and-a-half tackles for loss two sacks, one recovered fumble and one forced fumble, and scored a touchdown. In Ward's great overall career he has had 288 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions. Ward has led the Eagles to the Division I-AA Championship two of the past three years.
"It is crazy to think that I have 5 rings from my days at Georgia Southern, and I just want to continue my career from Southern on to the next level," said Ward. "My college career went well and now I want to be able to play at the next level and I think I can."