If you come to Boiled Sports for recruiting news, you're probably like me- you don't like getting too up or down about an athlete before he's officially a Boilermaker...But I've decided to break my own rule today and talk about a verbal commit.
Denzel Ward is 6'9" and only 285 pounds as he gets ready to head into his Senior season in Bradenton, FL. But the fact that he's already a mountain of a man isn't what makes his verbal commitment large for Coach Hazell.
I am officially committed to Purdue University, it's over. #Boilermakers #boilerup #believe pic.twitter.com/QTnzFOtWsF
— Denzel Ward (@_DW75) June 21, 2013
Before coming to Purdue for a visit this week, Ward was a lean toward Florida. He had the Gators leading the likes of aOSU, Oklahoma and a few others. While major programs were on board for this big OT, the recruiting services didn't have him as a four-star...neither Scout nor Rivals had him higher than a three-star. And while this post is kind of inconsistent with the way we regard verbal commits, we're very consistent in our belief that stars and rankings aren't as impressive as big time programs and coaches extending offers...and Ward definitely had that.
If things go according to his plan right now, Ward will join the talented and green RS Frosh OL class that will play a huge role in Hazell's blueprint for success...make no mistake, that this verbal, while not guaranteed to a Boiler just yet, is a big deal.
Hazell had started out the recruiting class pretty slowly with the verbal commitment from some undersized, but talented WRs that mostly had MAC offers...but last week things turned a bit as Hazell had a few more guys commit to the gold and black after camping in God's country.
Some even bigger fish are waiting to be fried as a few of Hazell's needs, WR and LB, both could be fulfilled by players with huge upside and some pretty good offers competing for their services.
Recruiting is kind of an ugly business. Many have talked about how covering kids when they're 14 and 15 years old only helps create megalomaniacal pre-adults who become entitled men. Is talking about a 17 year old's plans for college, when you're 20 years older than him and have never met him, a little sick? Sure. BUT, the focus of this is really on Hazell's recruiting plan...he sent out his coaches to make contact and is now trying to get these guys on-board, in person, in the shadows of the house that Drew built (kinda).
CEO Hazell's early returns are already becoming evident.