football

Ballard gets even more attention

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Lawrence (Kan.) Free State tight end Christian Ballard was just being recruited regionally when he made an early commitment to the Kansas Jayhawks. However, the month of May has been very kind to Ballard as the 6-foot-4, 280-pounder has blown up nationally. He picked up another impressive offer late last week and then a new team entered the mix on Monday.
"I got an offer from Arizona State on Friday," Ballard, who is one of the nation's top tight ends but could also project as a defensive tackle, said.
"That's another really good offer to have. I told them like I tell everybody that I'm still committed to Kansas, but I have to make sure that I made the right decision, so I'm still taking a look at a lot of other schools."
On Monday night, Ballard received a call from Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. Wilson told Ballard the Sooners are close to officially extending an offer but couldn't quite do it just yet.
"He was telling me about how short they are on scholarships, but they wanted to watch my film first and if they like what they see then there would be an offer on the way," Ballard said. "I'm supposed to call coach Patterson here soon. They said they look at a guy like me and easily see me at 300 pounds, and that's a pretty neat thing coming from a school like that.
"Oklahoma is a big, big look."
Later on Tuesday afternoon, the offer from Oklahoma became official.
"I called coach Wilson back and they said they loved my film," Ballard said. "I then talked to coach Patterson, and he said an offer was coming my way. They both were talking about their program and about how they're always playing for national titles and how they're sending guys to the NFL."
Ballard has remained in close and constant communication with KU assistant coach Clint Bowen through the recruiting process and he knows the Jayhawks are going to keep recruiting him hard just like the other schools.
"I'm going to pretty much stay committed to KU, but if there is a team that I see on TV that I like, then I might give them a look," he said. "You never know what might happen."
Georgia, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma State and UCLA were the other teams he had been showing an interest in before Oklahoma and Arizona State entered the race.
"That's 11 teams that say they're offering me or have already offered me," Ballard said. "I'm trying to get up there with the guys in Texas and California."
The thing is that he already is as Ballard has definitely become one of the nation's hottest targets.
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