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From walk-on to starter, OSU's Ward having a blast
In it for the fun of it

by Jenni Carlson Modified: September 15, 2008 at 10:53 am •  Published: September 15, 2008
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/> "I didn't have a lot of experience blocking ... but I thought I could figure it out,” he said, smiling. "I wanted to go to a bigger school and see if I could make it.”

His dad said, "I expected him to work really hard for two years and maybe work his way into a spot.”

Two years?

More like two weeks.

That's how long it took Ward to land a spot on OSU's kickoff unit. He played special teams last season, then when fullbacks John Johnson and Jeremiah Burton left during the off-season, Ward became the starter.

He did not, however, become a star.

When co-offensive coordinator Trooper Taylor arrived last spring, he knew Ward by his nickname, "Stillwater.”

"I didn't even know what his name was for the longest,” Taylor said.

Fullback is a little-used position in the Cowboys' high-octane offense. Any time they throw defenses a curve and play out of the I formation, though, Ward has to do his part.

"His role is unique in that he's not going to get the ball more than likely,” Brewer said. "You may throw him a pass every once in a while, and every blue moon, you may hand him the ball.”

He shook his head.

"Don't even ask for the ball.”

Ward doesn't. Heck, he counts the first play of the season opener against Washington as his favorite.

"I got to go in and cut someone,” he said of blocking around the corner.

Undersized at 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, Ward is content with his unsung duties.

"I've gotten a lot of opportunities to be where I am,” he said. "I appreciate it all the time.

"It's always fun to go out there no matter what.”

That makes every Saturday a perfect day for football.