Scouting Report: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Macedonia, OH | 5096 | 191 | 4.25 | 2019

When you want to talk speed, look no further than the fastest prospect in the nation. He will challenge the 4.22 modern day combine record set by John Ross. In fact, he hit a speed of 21.8 mph during a game in 2015, the top mark ever recorded by the Buckeyes in the Urban Meyer era. He was the Ohio High School State Champion in the 200 and you can see his quickness in the recovery speed he flashes on film. In addition to being fast, he is also physical and has proved he can deliver the big hit. Areas in need of improvement include footwork and technique at the line of scrimmage. Technically, he has never started a game but entering 2017, he earned significant playing time in 2016 alongside Marshon Lattimore (Saints) and Gareon Conley (Raiders), participating in 468 snaps, while allowing just 15 completions on 42 targets—for a completion percentage of 35.7% (Lattimore 36.1% and Conley 32.6%). “Physically, his strength is not the same as those other guys yet,” according to cornerbacks coach Patrick Coombs said. “It will be, and he’s getting much more physical and tougher. But right now, the speed is huge advantage for him.” He’s known to be a very quiet; low key individual according to teammates.

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2016: Ward was part of a cornerback rotation that featured two first-round draft picks at the end of the season … he played in all 13 games and tied for the team lead with Marshon Lattimore with nine pass break-ups … was also in on 23 tackles

2015: Ward was one of only four scholarship freshman to get playing time for the Buckeyes this season …he was a key special teams performer who played in 12 games … he totaled 196 plays on the season with 175 of those on special teams … he was clocked running 21.8 miles per hour on special teams coverage in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame … he was one of the top tacklers on special teams with seven total stops.

High School/Personal: Ward helped lead Nordonia to a 14-1 record and the Division II state championship game in 2014 by starring on defense with nine interceptions and 18 pass break-ups and on offense with more than 1,300 total yards and 20 touchdowns … named the Division II co-defensive player of the year and a first-team Associated Press all-state selection for coach Jeff Fox … also named Cleveland.com’s defensive player of the year … totaled 14 interceptions in 2013 and 2014 combined plus had 93 receptions and 31 receiving touchdowns … rated a 4-star prospect by Scout and 247Sports and was ranked respectively by those organizations as the Nos. 22 and 26 cornerback prospect … rated as high as No. 171 among all players by Scout … a PrepStar all-Midwest Region …caught 37 passes for 658 yards and nine touchdowns for 8-3 team as a junior … possesses tremendous speed – including published reports of a hand-timed 4.31 40 – and is a multiple state qualifier in track and field as part of Nordonia’s 4×400-meter relay and as a long jumper … is the son of Nicole and the late Paul Ward.