Friday, July 9, 2010

BALL CAN PLAY SOME BALL, AND DREAMS OF DOING SO AT OSU

COLUMBUS — St. Francis DeSales tailback Warren Ball Jr. has college football coaches from all across the country drooling over the possibility of signing the dynamic runner to their class.

(left, photo of Ball by The Columbus Dispatch)

The 6-foot-2, 200 pounder from Columbus has the size, the speed, the talent, and an IQ for the game not often seen at the high school level.

And the crazy thing is ... Ball still has two years remaining in the prep ranks.

The class of 2012 recruit recently participated in the two-day Ohio State Position Camp and was the most impressive runner amongst the sophomores and juniors who were on hand. His stellar performance at the prestigious showcase cemented himself as one of the top young tailbacks in the nation.

I was wanting to get to know a little bit more about this rising star from central Ohio, so I went to the person who could give me the breakdown of Warren Ball Jr. better than anyone in the national scouting circles could ... Warren Ball Jr. himself.

"Warren Ball is a team player who looks to do whatever it takes to help his team win," Ball said Friday, after I asked him to give a scouting report of himself. "He loves football, and gives his all on every play."

Ball — who helped DeSales reach the Division III state championship game as a sophomore last season — rushed for more than 700 yards, despite sharing time in the backfield and missing four games due to injury.

Ball has made a name for himself as a splat and scat back during his high school career. But ... the rising star doesn't want to rest on his laurels — he wants to continue to grind.

"I want to play to the best of my ability," Ball said. "Block until the whistle, run hard, catch the football, and do whatever it takes to help my team win."

There he goes again ... talking about helping the team. Boy, sounds a lot like another runner who used to wear the same No. 34 on his jersey, doesn't it?

"I pattern my game after the late Walter Payton," Ball said. (Payton's) also the reason I wear No. 34."

I have to say that's not a bad player to model yourself after, that's for sure.

Ball knows what kind of player he is and can be, but he also stated that it isn't just about scoring touchdowns and winning football games.

"I know there's a life after football, so I stress grades — a 4.0 GPA," Ball said. "I make sure I excel in the classroom, too."

Ball said he plans on majoring in engineering when he gets to college in two years. The only question is, where will that be?

Most of the top schools across the country are already showing great interest in the Columbus product, but Ball listed Notre Dame, LSU and Pittsburgh as a few of the prospective schools that he's really excited about hearing from.

However, the young star did say that he has his eye on one school in particular.

"Ohio State is the school I'm most interested in," Ball said. "I grew up here (in Columbus) and have watched the Buckeyes on television for years, dreaming of playing there one day."

The way Ball is heading — both on the field and in the classroom — that dream could become a reality, as the Buckeyes will surely be offering a scholarship to the talented young runner in the very near future. (August 1 is the first day that schools can officially issue written offers to juniors)

You see, the Buckeyes have not offered a running back for the class of 2011, and from what I understand will not be doing so.

Which means Ball could be the Buckeyes No. 1 target for 2012.

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