Denzel Ward commits to Syracuse over Vanderbilt, South Florida

Syracuse won it’s biggest recruiting battle on 2014 NLI day, snagging Chicago offensive lineman Denzel Ward.

Ward announced his decision on a live video feed from Campus Insiders. Ward based his decision in part on the academics at Syracuse and his relationship with Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer.

“The sports management program and communications program are both dynamic,” Ward said to Campus Insiders. “[Shafer] made me feel throughout my four years there that he’ll take care of me and make sure I get the education I need.”

» Related: Breaking down Syracuse’s 2014 recruiting class

Ward, a 6-foot-8, 307-pound offensive tackle from Simeon High School, picked Syracuse over South Florida and Vanderbilt. He had previously been committed to Purdue and had some heavyweight offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Florida and UCLA, among others.

Ward has set some lofty goals for his time in Central New York.

“Hopefully the in the next two years, we can win an ACC championship and the Orange bowl,” Ward said. “Hopefully by the time I leave, [we’ll] have a chance to get a National Championship.”

Moore was one of six recruits from Illinois, including fellow Chicagoan and offensive lineman Aaron Roberts.

Ward was rated a three star recruit from Scout.com, and SU was ranked as the 10th best class in the ACC and No. 51 class overall.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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