Illinois Fighting Illini Football: Profiling Illini Signee Jihad Ward

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Junior College recruit Jihad Ward gave the Illinois Fighting Illini his verbal commitment before the team signed their class from 2013. Over a year later, Ward inked his name with the Orange and Blue as he signed his Letter of Intent today.

Ward has tremendous size, strength, and athleticism for a JC recruit. He also contains a high motor and explosiveness off the line of scrimmage.

Here’s the skinny on Jihad Ward:

  • Rivals, ESPN, 24/7 –  3 Star DT
  • SCOUT – 4 Star DT
  • ESPN – Top 50 JC recruits (35th)
  • posted 55 tackles and eight sacks as a freshman in 2013.

With his impressive physical traits alone, Jihad Ward should have Illini fans excited for the upcoming 2014 season. However, as with most every recruit there are some areas which need improvement. These areas consist of: hand quickness, snap anticipation, and his pass rushing weapons as a whole. He’ll have 3 years to play 2 years for the Illini.

Here are his highlights courtesy of IP:

Per ESPN, the bottom line on the Globe Institute of Technology DT is:

“Ward has some good raw tools and natural ability could allow him to contribute, but some further development can lead to better/consistent production as an FBS DL as still more an upside prospect as he can improve in areas to maximize ability.”

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

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Topics: Illinois Fighting Illini, Jihad Ward

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