LaMarque, Texas, three-star safety Clarence Ward has found a new home - finally.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect had scholarship offers from Florida State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA and LSU. He was already committed to LSU, was named as the Texas Football preseason defensive player of the year and his highlight film was jaw-dropping.
But that all changed on September 22 when Ward was dismissed from his team by La Marque coach and athletic director Bryan Erwin. For the record, nobody, not even Ward will disclose why he was dismissed from the LaMarque squad. LSU eventually pulled his scholarship and his future was in limbo.
But Ward has found a new home – Pensacola High School in Florida.
"I made some mistakes at my previously school so this gives me the opportunity to get straightened out,” Ward said. “I'm thankful to have the opportunity here and they coaches and players have been great. They've welcomed me with open arms and told me to leave the past behind and that's exactly what I'm going to do - learn from my mistakes and move on.
“I'm just concentrating on football and school right now and the rest will work itself out."
Ward said the transition has been great.
"The adjustment hasn't been too difficult because of the people at Pensacola High School,” he said. “They treat me like they've always known me, and I feel comfortable here. That makes everything a lot easier because I didn't know what to expect at first and now I feel like I'm part of the team.”
With many teams backing off him after the incident at LaMarque, Ward said he’s not sure what his recruiting future holds. But at this point, he’s also not too worried about it.
“I'm going to wait and see who shows interest in me, and then I'll evaluate my options against each other,” he said. “I don't consider myself committed to LSU at all. In fact I haven't heard from them in a while.
“I want to go to a school that I feel I can just fit in with the other players and coaches. I prefer the SEC and wouldn't mind staying in the South because I feel at home here. The SEC is the best conference and produces the most NFL players. I really like their enthusiasm about football. I'm going to keep an open mind and look hard at any school who recruits me. I'll take some visits after my high school season is done but for now that is what I want to concentrate on the most.”