State’s top-ranked OT Xzavier Ward becomes commitment No. 22 for Georgia (updated)

Colquitt County coach Rush Propst believes Xzavier Ward has NFL potential. (Photo provided with permission from MickiKphotography.com)

Colquitt County coach Rush Propst believes Xzavier Ward has NFL potential. (Photo provided with permission from MickiKphotography.com)

Xzavier Ward almost waited too long the first time around. So when the University of Georgia came back with a scholarship offer on Monday, Colquitt County’s star offensive lineman pounced on it.

Ward. a 6-foot-7, 260-pound offensive tackle, committed to the Bulldogs on Monday. He’s No. 22 for the Class of 2011.

“I feel great about it,” Ward said. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity.”

Ward was originally offered by the Bulldogs as part of their mythical “Dream Team.” But he resisted and elected to play out the recruiting process to the end. It almost cost him.

Georgia, Alabama and Auburn, three of the main teams in on Ward early, all filled up their slots on the offensive line and had to withdraw their offers. But with rising senior Tanner Strickland’s recent decision to give up football coupled with two commitments gaining early enrollement, the Bulldogs had some room open up.

On Sunday morning, Georgia coach Mark Richt offered both Ward and Miami commitment Taylor Gadbois (6-7, 295) of East Paulding. Ward had accepted by lunchtime Monday.

“Well, they called and offered me and I decided to take it this time,” Ward said. “I had an offer from them before but they filled up for a while, like Alabama and Auburn did. When Coach [Mike] Bobo called this time I told him I wanted to be a Dog.”

Gadbois decided to stick with his commitment to Miami. “It was a tough decision to make but I decided to stay with my word,” he said. “They came by my school today and I didn’t want to be rude to Coach Richt because he’s a good man, but I just couldn’t do that to Miami because that was my dream school.”

Ward had plenty of other opportunities, too. He had well over a dozen offers, including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Georgia Tech, which also offered, put on a full-court press last week and tried to get him to take an official visit.  He took a trip to Mississippi State instead and was given the red-carpet treatment by the Western Division Dogs. But when pressed to go ahead and commit, he again resisted.

“I almost waited too long,” Ward said with a nervous laugh. “But I didn’t want to go too far from home and I liked the idea of playing in-state for the state school. Georgia’s got a lot of great players coming in now with the Dream Team and I wanted to be a part of it.”

Ward is rated a four-star prospect by ESPNU/Scouts Inc. and he gets three stars from both Rivals and Scout. But he’s the top-ranked offensive lineman in the AJC Fab 50 at No. 9. And Colquitt County head coach Rush Propst called him one of the most athletic lineman he’s ever coached.

“Xzavier is a kid with NFL potential because he has all the raw tools,” Propst said. “He has only been with us (the football program) for one full year. What he has accomplished in that short amount of time is amazing. The sky is the limit for Xzavier.

“I really do think he’s one of the top 6-7 or among the top 10 offensive lineman in the country. I’ve seen a lot of guys on that Top 150 stuff, ESPN and all the Rivals and Scout lists. Xzavier Ward has as much potential as any player in the country on the edge, I promise you. He might even end up being the best.”

For now, Ward’s just happy to have a destination.

GEORGIA 2011 COMMITMENTS

  1. C David Andrews (6-3, 276), Wesleyan School
  2. DE Sterling Bailey (6-4, 250), East Hall HS
  3. CB Devin Bowman (6-0, 175), Ridgeland HS
  4. WR Chris Conley (6-3, 185), North Paulding HS
  5. OT Watts Dantzler (6-7, 330), Dalton HS
  6. OT Zach DeBell (6-7, 265), Tarpon Springs, Fla.
  7. DB Quintavioius Harrow (6-0, 185), Carver-Columbus
  8. LB Amarlo Herrera (6-2, 215), N. Clayton
  9. QB Christian LeMay (6-3, 188), Matthews, N.C.
  10. OL Hunter Long (6-3, 293), Eads, Tenn.
  11. ATH Nick Marshall (6-2, 190), Wilcox Co. HS
  12. DL Chris Mayes (6-5. 295), Spalding HS
  13. WR Malcolm Mitchell (6-1, 185), Valdosta
  14. DB Corey Moore (6-1, 185), Griffin
  15. TE Jay Rome (6-6, 240), Valdosta
  16. DB Chris Sanders (6-0, 175), Tucker
  17. WR Justin Scott-Wesley (6-1, 190), Mitchell County HS
  18. WR Sanford Seay (6-2, 190), Lee County
  19. CB Damian Swann (6-0, 175), Grady
  20. OL Nathan Theus (6-3, 255), Jacksonville, Fla.
  21. OL Xzavier Ward (6-7, 260), Colquitt County
  22. LB Ramik Wilson (6-3, 225), Tampa, Fla.

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog.

474 comments Add your comment

billy the kid

January 24th, 2011
7:18 pm

Very good get for the DAWGS!!!! Look at CMR get it done in crunch time. Labor Day weekend we will show the country UGA is back after a tough season and an off-season built on character and hard work.

billy the kid

January 24th, 2011
7:20 pm

oh by the way, I guess I’m first? How stupid is that/I’d rather just post my comment.

warlaw

January 24th, 2011
7:21 pm

What a great surprise. Been following his recruitment and thought we had lost him to Alabama or Auburn so picking up this highly top rated OL is spreading icing on the Dream Team cake. If you watch film on this guy you will see that he is underrated at 3 stars. Way to go Dogs.

saban

January 24th, 2011
7:22 pm

Oh well Puppies.

Sometimes a blind pig finds a acorn.

What a waste.

Oh well another national championship coming. Georgia another losing season.

Stevo

January 24th, 2011
7:22 pm

the name rush propst (his hs coach) makes me shudder… he coached at hoover in alabama and theyre one of my high schools biggest rivals.

WIN WITH RICHT

January 24th, 2011
7:24 pm

Saban

Why don’t you and you dastardly crew go pound sand!

warlaw

January 24th, 2011
7:24 pm

I’m glad the Gadbois kid turned us down. Ward is better…quicker & more athletic and can carry more weight. He will be a HOG!

Ware Dawg

January 24th, 2011
7:24 pm

saban

January 24th, 2011
7:26 pm

Keep Richt and his hairdresser.

Have to fill up clarke county correctional.

Uga'91

January 24th, 2011
7:28 pm

Great News. Jenkins, Crowell and Drew next.

RTR22

January 24th, 2011
7:31 pm

Why did the Sr OL give up fb? Was he forced out??? Is this not the Saban way Uggaaa?? Hey Billy the Kid, if a 18 yr old does not have character by the time he leaves high school he is not going to
find it in Athens.

K Conley

January 24th, 2011
7:31 pm

Maybe we should offer the O-Line job to Coach Probst. It wouldn’t hurt us recruiting in the state of Alabama, and he certainly knows football.

Palm City Dawg

January 24th, 2011
7:31 pm

Great to have a you as a DAWG Xzavier. You are going to do great things. Look forward to seeing you in the fall with playing time in the RED AND BLACK!!!!!!

WIN WITH RICHT

January 24th, 2011
7:32 pm

Saban

It looks like the tide has turned against you and your dastardly crew in the Great State of Georgia.
HAHA!! Now scamper back to bama with your tail between your legs. We don’t care for the likes of you here.

Davey Boy Smith

January 24th, 2011
7:32 pm

Whoever UGA hires to be OL coach should be drooling over this kid. I cannot believe our coaches were stupid enough to want Gadbois over Ward. Anyone who has seen this kid play would be blown away. He is a legit 6′6″ with a massive wingspan and rare athleticism for a guy that size. A redshirt year and the weight room should have him up to 290 lbs, and ready to dominate for 3 years.

south

January 24th, 2011
7:33 pm

this class is coming together….signing Drew, Crowell, and Jenkins will put UGA in top 5.

security dawg

January 24th, 2011
7:35 pm

; ) I said it..I said I felt the winds of change come UGA’s way and now watch we close on FEB 2 w// Cromwell, Drew, Jenkins & sleeper…..

WIN WITH RICHT

January 24th, 2011
7:36 pm

Hopefully, he will bulk up and dominate like Bernard Williams did in the mid 90’s.

bardawg

January 24th, 2011
7:38 pm

I must say I getting happier by the day with UGA’s recruiting & it won’t break my face to say GOOD JOB Coach Mark Richt ! GOOOO DAWGS ,SIC’EM ,GATA

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

January 24th, 2011
7:39 pm

i’m excited for our future O-line…this makes 3 kids who are 6′7″ 250lbs plus…some big hosses up there

jim

January 24th, 2011
7:39 pm

Another player to be on UGA that spells his name wrong.

Welcome Home " to the Bulldog Nation Xzavier"

January 24th, 2011
7:39 pm

I’m so glad the Coaches came back to you again and offered a schoolie on that spot. You almost miss the ” Dream Team Train” but thankfully you grab it as quick as possible. We’re about to fill all our spots very soon. So Mr Crowell, Mr Jenkins, Mr Drew, Mr Turine and anyone else whose thinking about joining ” The University Of Georgia” Don’t wait too long and let this Bulldog Train pass you by. ALLLLLLLLL ABOARD !!!!……NEXT STOP !!…… ” THE GEORGIA DOME” . I SAID.. IT’S GREAT TO BE !! .. A GEORGIA BULLDOG !!!! GATA X MAN !!

bilbo

January 24th, 2011
7:40 pm

YESSS!!! This guy’s gonna be a good one.

bobby

January 24th, 2011
7:42 pm

a great signing now uga got dantler, debouse, andrews, hunter long, and now xavier ward what a great o-line class now uga can move dantler to guard coach richit is doing a heck of a job in recruiting this job.

82Dawg

January 24th, 2011
7:42 pm

Dawgs have some big boys coming in on the O-line…

Roaddawg80

January 24th, 2011
7:42 pm

RTR22

Don’t compare UGA to Bama. It was totally Tanner’s choice to not play. He had shoulder trouble and did not want to go through another year of rehab.

BG

January 24th, 2011
7:43 pm

Yes!!!!! GO DAWGS!!!! The Dream Team is on a roll.

Who cares jim ?????

January 24th, 2011
7:44 pm

There are better things to worry about than talking about someone else name. It shows how ignorant you are !! Go Dawgs !!!

SouthSide Dawg

January 24th, 2011
7:44 pm

Congrats, Xzavier and Welcome to the DawgNation. Go Dawgs!

Saban Who?

January 24th, 2011
7:46 pm

Didn’t Alabama finish 4th out of 6 teams in the West?!?!

wrecked

January 24th, 2011
7:46 pm

Pj whiffs again.

tide roll

January 24th, 2011
7:47 pm

Oh Hell Yeah! Now land Richardson, and you’ve got some big time bookend OTs. Factor in young studs Kenariuos Gates, A.J. Harmon,(keep him eligible), and Chris Burnette, and you’ve got a great nucleus. Next year get the two earth movers from Buford and Lithonia and off you go. You already have the best offensive line in America on Campus. OTs STURDIVANT and CORDY GLENN, OGs BEAN ANDERSON and KENARIOUS GATES, and Center CHRIS BURNETTE. Move BRUCE FIGGINS to fullback and BOISE will be afraid to show up. Congratulations Dawgs. Ward’s a great get.

jasont13

January 24th, 2011
7:48 pm

Where is Tide Roll? Wasn’t he on here the other day basing UGA for not going after Xzavier?

This just in .... Saban is an Idiot !!

January 24th, 2011
7:49 pm

In other news bamer jamer is a hater !!! … back to you.

El Dawg

January 24th, 2011
7:49 pm

Seems we have a few butt-hurt Bammers on here who haven’t gotten over Malcom Mitchell picking UGA. Give the kid his props and move on. Congrats Ward, good luck and all the best to you.

wrecked

January 24th, 2011
7:50 pm

Why doesn’t anyone want to play for PJ the genius?

jasont13

January 24th, 2011
7:51 pm

Wow, Tide Roll. You finally give the Dawgs some credit after months of bashing them.

DawginOH

January 24th, 2011
7:51 pm

Congrats, Xzavier. Welcome to UGA!

bigtime

January 24th, 2011
7:52 pm

@K Conley

January 24th, 2011
7:31 pm
Maybe we should offer the O-Line job to Coach Probst. It wouldn’t hurt us recruiting in the state of Alabama, and he certainly knows football.

This is why Mark Richt wouldn’t hire Rush Propst He’s an excellent coach but too much baggage.

Chase

January 24th, 2011
7:52 pm

Great stuff thanks, Chip!

jasont13

January 24th, 2011
7:53 pm

Ward is a good pick up. The only thing is he will need to be red-shirtted in order to put on some weight and get stronger. I see him starting by his RSophmore year.

Professor Pointdexter

January 24th, 2011
7:53 pm

Hey Saban, The last time I checked pigs don’t eat acorns. I’m surprised you didn’t know that considering with whom you associate.

I tought tide roll of crap...

January 24th, 2011
7:53 pm

Was ban from here. Hey idiot !!.. That same ole sh!t you keep on talking here. It’s gotten ” VERY OLD JUST ABOUT NOW “. Don’t you have anything else to say?? What an idiot !! It had to be a Forest gump”.

Roaddawg80

January 24th, 2011
7:54 pm

I am not sure guys but I don’t know if I have heard so many people rave about a 3*. This kid must be a steal. It is sounding more and more like it. Alabama, Auburn, Miss State, Clemson. etc…. I think we got a huge pick up.

Buck Belue’s brother said he is the best and most athletic OL he has seen in the past five years coming out of HS. WOW

Norman Cowans

January 24th, 2011
7:54 pm

Wrecked, Happy with Bama and the Barns left overs?

Coastaldawg

January 24th, 2011
7:56 pm

Tanner Strickland is a quality young man who also will be graduating. Football is not the only reason these young men go to UGA!

Dawg Rule

January 24th, 2011
7:58 pm

Georgia’s getting so many commitments from the top playes, they will be dominating the SEC east for years! florida’s having recruiting problems with muschamp and his weak staff and tennessee’s not getting anything good. It’s time for Ga to take over the division and the SEC. Mark this down–Ga wins the SEC east easy in 2011! The Dawgs are back!

Special Dawg

January 24th, 2011
7:58 pm

Ward was apparently the 6th option of for Alabama, and the 4th option for Auburn. Glad we got him but maybe they saw or have something Mark Richt does not see.

I just am not sold on this big man yet and according to notes he is considered a “project”. We might see him play in 3 years according to Lemming.

We hit and run...

January 24th, 2011
7:59 pm

What a crock…

Finchdawg

January 24th, 2011
8:00 pm

Wow! An unexpected get! Go Dawgs! Thanks for the report, Chip.