Sunday, October 21, 2012

Denzel Ward, Wolverine

Denzel Ward
Chicago (IL) Hales Franciscan offensive tackle Denzel Ward, a 2014 prospect, committed to Michigan on Saturday.  He chose the Wolverines over an offer from Purdue.

Ward is 6'9" and 290 lbs.  He is not ranked by the recruiting services, and testing results are unavailable at this point.  Ward is in his first year of playing football, and he hasn't released any film yet.  He was offered by the coaching staff last weekend when he visited for Michigan's game against Illinois, and he returned this weekend to give his commitment.

It might be obvious to say, but I have no strong opinion on Ward because I haven't seen any film of him.  I do find it a little surprising that Michigan's coaching staff is taking a flyer on a kid who is so new to football when they have such a great 2013 offensive line recruiting class already in the fold.  It seems like they've established a desire and ability to recruit truly elite talents, so Ward must look like a Hall of Fame athlete if they're willing to take the time to develop him.

If Michigan gets back up to 85 scholarships with the class of 2013, then 17 current Michigan juniors will be scheduled to graduate after the 2013 season.  So Michigan's 2014 freshman class looks to be 17 strong, but as always, the number will probably grow between now and February 2014.  Ward joins linebacker Michael Ferns as Michigan's only other 2014 commit.

UPDATE: Here's a link to Ward's junior highlights and a scouting report.  Film wasn't released until about a month after Ward committed, so these two items were added later.

TTB Rating: 86


  1. I think it is because of their great OL classes of the last two years that they are willing to take a flier. They probably see a great athlete and realize that he probably wont have to play until he is an underclassman.

  2. Well, if he blows up at all, he'll likely want to look around and decommit. I really don't understand why you even accept the commit of a 2014 kid who only has 1 other offer and is almost certain to want to see other schools in the next 18 months.

    1. You never know. Some of these kids look around. Some don't. Some commit late and then switch. Some commit early and stick.

  3. Does he play basketball as well? Maybe he shows exceptional athleticism on the hard wood that translates to the girdiron….?

  4. I gotta give this one up to the coaches. I like knowing what it is they like about a recruit, but on this one i'm gonna just sit back and say "they know what they're doing." Especially after the 2012/2013 classes. It can't be the kids technique, footwork, or pad level they love because he's just so new to football, but I have to imagine he shows the drive they want, with a good enough amount of athleticism to go with his ginormousness.

  5. Could be a great low post presence!

  6. Is there a point when you are too tall to play football? I wonder if he is done growing yet.