Virginia beats out Pitt for commitment from promising WR Ward

By Jerry Ratcliffe


Virginia has landed one of the state of Massachusetts’ top 10 football prospects in 3-star wide receiver Triston Ward.

Ward is a good get, having chosen UVA over Pitt, Duke, Boston College, UMass and Colorado State. Pitt, which has produced several good wide receivers in recent years, recruited Ward hard, as did Duke and BC.

A versatile athlete who has played receiver, running back, quarterback, corner and safety in high school (Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.), Ward had a breakout season in 2002, exhibiting big-play ability with track-star speed (10.53 100) and hauled in 51 catches for 1,167 yards (22.9 per catch) for 16 touchdowns.

In a recent showcase at Deerfield, Ward had college recruiters frothing at the mouth over his speed, catching ability and route running.

“I think I showed off my best ability to make the hard catches because a few of the balls thrown at me were high or a little bit behind me, but I didn’t drop any passes,” Ward said. “I think my speed impressed as well. That’s one of my best traits. You can really tell when it’s live rather than on video.”

Early on, recruiting analysts believed Ward was a lock for Pitt, but he visited Virginia on June 9 and obviously liked what he saw. He is rated the No. 163 wide receiver in the country and the No. 8 overall prospect in the state of Massachusetts by 247Sports.