September 13, 2012

DB, Marcus Ward updates his recruiting

With senior mainstay cornerback Josh Jackson scheduled to graduate, along with back-up and potential starter Justin Allen playing his final campaign for the Black Knights, the Army staff continues to press ahead to source quality talent to fill in the pipeline at corner.

There are several cornerback prospects on Army's recruiting radar. Earlier this week profiled the highlights of cornerback Elijah Mitchell. Then there is Charles Okonkwo who holds an offer from the Black Knights and is high on their recruiting list.

But you can't forget 6-foot-3, 200 pound Marcus Ward out of Vestavia Hills (Ala.) Vestavia High School who has physicality, size and range that could be more suited for safety at the college level

Either way, he remains a top prospect on the Black Knights' 2013 recruiting class.

Currently the Alabama native, who is balancing his senior season and recruiting, holds eight offers that include Air Force, Army, South Alabama, Wollford, Memphis, University of Penn and Louisiana-Lafayette.

"I went to Middle Tennessee State this past Saturday for an unofficial and watched them play against Florida Atlantic ... and that was really good," said Ward, making a rare unofficial visit. "I got to see what their facilities, field and team look like. I had fun up there, so it was all good."

So what are Ward's plans for taking other visits? "I haven't had a chance to set up any other visits," he states. "It has kind of been a week to week kind of thing. For example, my mother is out of town, my dad is about to be out of town so we have to do it (visit) when we are all on he same schedule."

"We really don't have a set schedule .... well actually I think my mom does, but we usually go by getting a letter from a school or schools to come for an unofficial visit and check out a game. So we just play it by ear basically."

But Ward did mention that there has been some separation relative to the level of interest that some colleges are showing him versus others. "Army, Air Force, Louisiana-Lafayette and UAB are recruiting me the hardest right now ... those would be the core four," says Ward, who also knows the importance of seeing any and all schools up close.

"The big thing for me is getting out. Going to the schools, seeing the campuses, seeing what I like, how I fit in and making sure that the next four years that I spend there where I won't have the feeling that I want to come home or saying that I wish had gone elsewhere," adds Ward, who has remained in contact with the Black Knights' staff. "Coach Holmes (Clarence) of Army called me a few days ago, but I missed his call and have to get back to him."

With one eye on recruiting, the other eye keeping his senior season in full sight.

"We are 2-0, so our season is coming along well," declares Ward, who is primarily being used on the defensive side of the ball, although he does log in some occasional reps at wide receiver. "I've been playing free safety, strong safety and corner .... all three of those positions. I favor the safety positions more than corner, because I am more involved and I like having control ... knowing what to call, what to go to and all that. I feel confident in myself in leading the defense. We are looking pretty strong and we are actually getting some players back and we should be really healthy this week."

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