Nordonia DB Denzel Ward Visits Ohio State

By Jeremy Birmingham on March 30, 2014 at 12:00p

Perhaps the fastest player in Ohio for 2015, Denzel Ward of Nordonia High School, has had a relatively slow start to his recruiting process. A 5-foot-11, 170 pound cornerback, Ward visited the Buckeyes for the first time on Saturday and came away very impressed with Ohio State.

"I'd been in contact with (Buckeye offensive line coach Ed) Warinner just recently, but today I hung out mostly with (Kerry) Coombs," Ward told Eleven Warriors when asked what prompted the visit to Columbus. "(The visit) was great. I love the coaches there,  and I feel they really know what they're doing. They gets their players motivated and competing with high energy. The facilities were nice and they gave me a lot of feedback on what I need to do in order to be a Buckeye."


Ward has picked up five scholarship offers in the last two months, with the Bearcats of Cincinnati being the first. Cincinnati was his only previous college visit; he attended a junior day on their campus. As for his trip to Columbus, Ward said the Buckeyes were straightforward with him about what he'd need to do in order to earn a scholarship.

"The number one priority is getting my grades up," he said. "They also want me to attend camp this summer. The grades are something I am going to put my full effort into and it's not just something I want to do, I need to do it."

After a successful junior season (37 receptions, 658 receiving yards, nine touchdowns to go along with five interceptions on defense) the blazing fast Ward (personal best 40-time of 4.31) is looking towards a big summer to help grow his game. 

"I feel you have to go to camps that a lot of scouts and coaches are going to be at, and I wasn't able to do that last summer," Ward said of his late arriving attention. "You have help make a name for yourself. This summer I'm going to keep going to speed training and working on my technique," he said of plans for the future. "I want to help Nordonia win a championship in my senior year."

Ward saw glimpses of where his technique needs to be when he checked out the Buckeyes' practice.

"Their defensive backs were physical and looked like they were enjoying the game of football," he said of watching Ohio State up close. "I like the different schemes and coverages they were doing. I enjoyed watching the mental phase (of the game) in the classroom with coach Coombs and how he broke down the plays."

As for a return to Ohio State, whether it be for the spring game or camp?

"I want to come back to Ohio State for both," he said about any planned return to Columbus. "I'll be there at camp in June."


Comments Show All Comments

hit_the_couch's picture

It seems the only requirement to get an offer from Cincy is to have a pulse. I swear they offer everyone.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

+5 HS
villagebuckeye's picture

He has speed to burn but at 170 he needs to hit the weights and put on 20 pounds of muscle

+2 HS
Kid Gloves's picture

I think Coach Mick is calling his name

+1 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

Great news to hear him say he NEEDS to work on grades. Great to hear that he plans on putting full effort into school work. I like hearing things like that from potential Buckeyes

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+3 HS
moopdawg's picture

I hope he does whatever the Ohio State coaches told him to do and gets his offer.  He's small, but on the video he looks fast and physical.  If he is anything like Antoine Winfield, then we got ourselves a player. 

+1 HS
ScarletNGrey01's picture

We have a need for speed!  Hope Mr. Ward continues to progress, puts on a few pounds of muscle and really focuses on his academics.  I'm rootin' for ya Denzel.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Seattle Linga's picture

That kid is a real ball hound - I'd love to have him.

+2 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

Ive lived in Ohio for 29 of my 33 years and I dont think Ive ever heard of Nordonia...

Seattle Linga's picture

Next to Macedonia and north of Richfield

+1 HS
Buckeyeboy's picture

Tressel recruited an OL from Nordonia by the name of Rob Simms, who, in spite of the knocks against his position coach (the Walrus) turned into a drafted NFL lineman, just like his dad. Rob played at OSU from 2003-2005. Google his name for more details, if you like.

Go Bucks!

+1 HS
DC-town's picture

Nordonia is the two districts of Northfield and Macedonia...mixed together, very clever 

And people need to keep in mind he's 170 lbs as a junior in highschool...not that he's big, but you wouldn't call him small either- that was Roby's size at this point in his career

'Piss excellence' -RB

+1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Keep bringing in the speed on both sides of the ball!  Great review Jeremy!!

Go Bucks!!

wyatt's picture

Anyone named Denzel who runs a 4.31 is fine with me.

+1 HS
Toilrt Paper's picture

Your Senior year is a little late to start worrying about your grades.

-2 HS
rufio's picture

Someone should let him know that you can't run in the 4.3s if you don't live south of the Mason Dixon.

+1 HS
buckeyeradar's picture

Speed is great but I want some Jack Tatum hitters.

I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box but I'm one of the most colorful.

+1 HS
pdan46's picture

The speed, if accurate, is obviously great.  But, how about his ability to play the CB position?  I worry about young guys who have academic problems this late in their HS careers.  He really needs to address that first and then, if he does and he has ability, the offers will come because of that tremendous speed.

-1 HS
Braxton2Devin's picture

A string of CBs have been cast for him to OSU in the past hour or so. I know he is camping today -- I'm guessing the line of thinking is that he will be offered and might commit on the spot?