After spending a semester at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. former Julian standout offensive lineman Denzel Ward returned home to Chicago for the summer and gave an oral commitment to Purdue.
How did Ward decide? It came down to an old fashioned way to break down his top schools which included the Boliermakers, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Florida.
“I wrote down multiple pros and cons list of my tops schools. Purdue had the most pros out of all my schools,” Ward said. “In this last week is where I truly made up my mind and wanted to end the process.”
The three-star offensive lineman gave his commitment on a visit to West Layfayette. Ward is ranked 60th at the position overall by FOXSports NEXT.
“My family and I were meeting with Coach Darrell Hazell and we were just talking about focusing on senior year and getting it over with and I committed right there,” Ward said. ”Coach gave me a big hug and all the coaching staff came and hugged and let me know I have to be leader and always work hard.”
Purdue has already become a special place for Ward, even after just giving his commitment a few days ago.
“I feel as if I’m a trendsetter being a high recruit, I didn’t pick the usual way and go to a powerhouse,” Ward said. “I wanted to lead and help build a powerhouse. I’ve already started movements on twitter such as our new hashtag #ThisIsOurPurdue which means we are coming and going to put in the work to be legends. I believe at Purdue I can make a major impact early and help turn the program around.”
Choosing Purdue signals a homecoming of sorts for Ward – who will return back to the Midwest for college.
“Coming back closer to home is something that I am very excited about and also being with former Simeon star and my cousin Robert Gregory helps me out with a lot of guidance in a big brother stance,” Ward said.