Denzel Ward has spoken to coaches about taking visits elsewhere

Submitted by Sinsemillaplease on January 4th, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I dislike these threads but thought I could start one and title it in a way that would not cause panic. It's January 2013 and Denzel Ward may have committed too soon and that's ok. He spoke to the coaches about taking visits and was told he would need to decommit first but would still be a UM recruit. He's thinking about visiting Florida, Purdue, ASU, Stanford and UCLA. There is no cause for concern. Michigan is on the minds of several big time 2014 OL and the haul will be Tremendous no matter what.

via Rivals $

via ESPN $

Edit: Ward has this to say on Twitter: Denzel Ward @DW75_

Just got done working hard and I come back to tweets and threads about me and my Michigan status, tell the fam and Coach Hoke I'm All Blue!

Imo, this is just another kid who wants to travel for free and capitalize on the opportunity he's worked so hard for. Don't we all wish we had that opportunity? Nothing to see here.



January 4th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

...pitiful attempts to assague our concerns. This is a BIG DEAL. Teenagers are not allowed to change their mind if it negatively affects Michigan.


January 4th, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^



January 4th, 2013 at 11:15 AM ^

At least he's doing it now and not closer to signing day when people we've turned away for his spot are commited elsewhere. Kid should definitely have a chance to explore his options if he feels he didn't adequately do so before he commited.

Indiana Blue

January 4th, 2013 at 11:16 AM ^

Seriously ... this has to be a typo.   They don't even have a coach ... do they?  Maybe Gene Keady will try football now ... hair still looks the same ... hahahaha

Go Blue!


January 4th, 2013 at 11:20 AM ^

I'm not surprised by this.   Given that he's new to HS football, he probably wasn't expecting all of the interest that he's getting.   He was probably shocked when he got the Michigan offer and just jumped on it.    Now that other schools are recruiting him, of course, he's interested in seeing what's out there.   It's different from other early commit guys like Michael Ferns or Shane Morris who had interest from a number of schools early on and had a much better understanding of their options before committing early.

It's a long way till 2014, if he's going to look around, it's best for everyone that he do it now as opposed to waiting until later in the process like Conley or Brown did.  



January 4th, 2013 at 11:21 AM ^

He told reporters at the UA game that he wanted to find the best place for him, and a place where he could play the earliest. Coming from a kid that is 110% headed for a redshirt, followed by heavy work just to get into the rotation, I found this comment weird. Honestly, Michigan's recent O-Line classes will most likely prevent Ward from seeing the field soon. He hasn't been playing football for that long, so people around him pushing the idea that he needs to play early are ridiculous.


January 4th, 2013 at 11:29 AM ^

You mean a giant 17 year old kid is over-estimating his abilities?  Didn't RJS say he was only going to play three years in college?  Seems this happens a lot.  I agree that he's an RS all the way and will need a year or two to get all the technique down at least.  But at the same time, we've got some talented linemen already in the fold, and the path to playing time may be quite cramped regardless. 


January 4th, 2013 at 11:32 AM ^

The last thing I want to see is a player that feels he was forced into playing for Michigan. No, that is next to last - the last thing is a freshman starting on the OL. Go ye forth and visit, enjoy yourself. Eat mushrooms (with your steak) and ponder the state of the universe while reading Casteneda. Live fast, drive fast (but stay off the front page, please). When you're finished, call Hoke.


January 4th, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

While I agree that "early playing time" can mean very different things depending on position (like OL vs. RB, for example), there is still such a thing as early playing time for OL.  consider that we will likely be playing a RS Freshman or two next year at OL... while not ideal for the team, still counts as early playing time for the kid.  But our 2012 and 2013 OL recruiting classes have to look pretty daunting to a 2014 kid who wants to play as soon as possible.  So it seems reasonable to see how the situation is shaping up at other programs showing him interest.


January 4th, 2013 at 12:17 PM ^

Spot on ... there is a consideration of priorities to be done -- early playing time, or quality skill development.  He can get good coaching even at lesser programs, but he won't get the opportunity to (a) play alongside other highly skilled linemen, and (b) be part of a school that is historically known as producing really good offensive linemen.

I'm confident the combination of Hoke and Funk will do the right thing to keep his heart Blue.


January 4th, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

 I've been ASU campus and I'll be the first to say these pictures do the women on that campus no justice. I'm assuming these pictures where taken by The University of Arizona  as a recruiting tool against ASU.

 I've been coast to coast and nowhere have I seen a larger collection of attractive women, down for whatever than Arizona State University. The only reason I wouldn't go there is the 108' night games


January 4th, 2013 at 12:21 PM ^

He'd better like two-a-days in the oven.  It doesn't cool down until late October.

The Phoenix area is a freakin' cooker in the summer.  Tucson (where I live) is hot enough at highs of around 105, but Phoenix is 10 degrees hotter because of the lower elevation.  115 is brutal.  And yes, the 10 degrees makes a huge difference, even when above 100 degrees.

But ... to you point ... yes, I think ASU is a program on the rise.


January 4th, 2013 at 11:59 AM ^

Considering the 2012 and 2013 o-line classes, getting top notch o-linemen in 2014 could be a problem. I hate even thinking it, but I can already see tranfers in the future, especially if they take 6 this year. A1 o-linemen may have to wait again until 2015.


January 4th, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

He and LTT seem tight but I always felt he was a classic "commit because I'm wow'd, happy and it's a major school" kid. Conley type commit, ya know. Still could end up here (!) but always had the feeling he wasn't crazy solid after about a week and the fuzzies wore off. I'd definitely still assume/think we are in the driver's seat but I think he eventually becomes a kid we have to fight hard to keep (I know that is true with all/most recruits regardless of status but you should get my point).


January 4th, 2013 at 1:16 PM ^

Exactly - this doesn't surprise me at all.  You see this a lot when a kid gets a big time offer before he has really been noticed as a recruit.  Conley was like this, and we've seen others like this before.  Guy gets big time offer, jumps all over it right away, and when he has a bunch more big time offers a few months later second guesses.

I'm not saying this is bad either, because most of us would probably do that same thing.  I'm also not worried about this at all, because we have a killer 2013 OL class, and Denzel Ward is far from a can't-miss OL prospect.  He has a high upside, for sure, but we will be able to replace him if he chooses somewhere else.  Hell, we'll probably only take 4 OL commits at most in 2014, and with the guys we have on our radar, Ward might not have a spot by the time he takes thos visits.


January 4th, 2013 at 3:02 PM ^

It certainly cuts against Michigan, because we would lose a commitment. However, it also cuts against Ward. How? I believe Ward has been offered more on his potential than on his actual performance to date. It could be the case that should he decommits, Michigan evaluates his film, and decides not to make another offer to him. Right now he is guaranteed a spot. Once that spot opens to others, there might not be another space open to him.

In the long run, this could help Michigan. Suppose someone who is 90% committed to Michigan decommits in order to look around and go on official visits. While they are taking these visits and looking around, the spot is given to another recruit of approximately equal ability, and there is no longer space available for the once-committed recruit. If the word gets around that spots won't sit open indefinitely, future recruits would start to think about whether or not it is worth decommitting.


January 4th, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

Ward tweeted this 14 minutes ago (around 3:15):

Just got done working hard and I come back to tweets and threads about me and my Michigan status, tell the fam and Coach Hoke I'm All Blue!