Deland defensive back Tomas Ward, a rishing junior, has received his first FBS scholarship offer from Utah. (PHOTO COURTESY KERRY BAETZMAN NORDMAN / June 27, 2013)
Even though DeLand defensive back Tomas Ward hasn’t had a chance to look into the Utah football program just yet, he’s still feeling good about receiving a scholarship offer from the school on Wednesday.
The rising junior found out after workouts on Wednesday when first-year DeLand head coach James Thomson informed him he had his first scholarship offer.
“It shows me that hard work pays off and it just makes me more hungry for more,” Ward said. “I’ve had no communication with the school but I might call them today."
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Ward is likely being looked at as a safety by the Utes coaching staff. Ward is the cousin of former DeLand star James Ward, who signed with Wake Forest in 2012. The younger Ward said he learned a lot about playing DB from his cousin.
“I was a freshman his senior year and I learned a lot going against him every day,” Tomas Ward said. “I learned more technique, like what to do to get off the jam and stuff like.”
Ward said the team has adjusted well and things are going good with new coach Thomson and his staff in place.
“It’s been good. I’m actually loving it,” he said. “I feel like we can do big things.”
Defensively, the Bulldogs have some stellar talent in linebackers Tyler Havenner and Trenton Bridges and defensive ends Gabe Schrade and Ben Knox, and tackle Robert Hiatt. Ward and Poochie Pitts are two underclassmen DBs the Bulldogs will be counting on. Knox is committed to Florida as an offensive lineman, and Schrade also has FBS offers from FAU and Western Kentucky.
DeLand has added Madison County and Jacksonville Bolles, runners-up in their respective state title games a year ago, to the usual mix of tough games against Daytona Beach Mainland, New Smyrna Beach, Sanford Seminole and Lake Mary. They also will take on Lake Brantley and an upstart Longwood Lyman team this year. The Mainland and Bolles games start the season back-to-back.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.