May 27, 2010

It's the Same Old Story in Lawton

LAWTON, Okla. - The tiny Southwest town of Lawton has always been well known for producing talent and the last few years have been no exception with players like Javon Harris, Harrison Jeffers, and Cornelius Douglas among them. However the lack of a true nationally elite recruit has evaded each of the town's three major programs, Eisenhower, Lawton high, and MacArthur.

It seems there may be a player ready to bring back the days of national coaches flocking to Lawton to see the likes of Jammal Brown, Dwight McFadden, not to mention numerous others of decades gone by.

All this is a lot to bestow on a player who has yet to take his first snap as a starter but that's just the type of buzz that currently surrounds 6-foot-3, 225-pound sophomore-to-be D.J. Ward.

Watching Ward go through one drill after another it's clear he has the feet, hip flexibility and ankle flexion and overall agility to become an elite pass-rusher moving forward but what may end up separating him from many of his peers is a relentless work ethic.

"In the spring we get our freshman for a period and they come in and work out with us," Lawton assistant Ryan Breeze said. "Well we also have workouts after school and the freshman can come if they want to but it's not required. Well D.J. always came in and one day I saw him leave and realized he was going to the practice field with his brother and taking a few of his classmates with him.

"They were doing even more beyond the two workouts. That's just the kind of kid he is, we don't have to stay on him about working hard like most freshman, he just does it naturally."

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