Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/21/14
Jimmie Ward chuckled about it. He wasn’t selected to play in the Alabama-Mississippi high school football all-star game but here he was late Monday afternoon after the North’s practice for Saturday’s Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium preparing to play in the top college showcase leading up to the NFL draft. The Northern Illinois safety was on the small side at the weigh-in Monday morning, measuring 5-10 3/8 and 191 pounds but he knew what the numbers were going to be and he’s been proving people he’s plenty big enough for a while now. He actually played at 180 this past season. Ward’s more well known Huskies teammate Jordan Lynch was a Heisman Trophy finalist, but the safety might garner more attention as a pro prospect. He was a first team All-MAC selection this past season when he led NIU with 95 tackles and made seven interceptions. He’s listed as a strong safety but projects more as a free safety. He needs his ballhawking skills to make a successful transition to the next level. “I knew what I was going to weigh,” said Ward, who has been working with a nutritionist since the college season ended. “Basically, I have to come out here and make plays. I have to come out here one day at a time and show them that I can compete with the best in the nation. I am confident I can make that happen.” It’s premature to start figuring a range for Ward in the draft but he could certainly be a mid-round selection. “Everything is going to handle itself as long as I come out here and play hard and give it my best down the line,” he said. The game is a homecoming for Ward, who played at Davidson High in Mobile. While Mobile native A.J. McCarron, the Alabama quarterback, passed on a Senior Bowl invite, Ward knew this was a chance for tremendous exposure. He played here with the Huskies in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in 2012. He played at the stadium several times in high school but couldn’t get any schools to recruit him. His coaches put together a highlight tape and sent it to every school in the country. NIU called on him and that is how he made it from here to DeKalb.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mel Kiper: Joe Mixon is most talented RB in draft

Gonzaga's Jordan Mathews long road back to the desert

Lonzo Ball on Markelle Fultz: ‘I’m better than him’

Harden: Playing every game should count in MVP discussion

Texans owner: We didn’t know Brock Osweiler well enough

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: NFL approves automatic ejections for egregious hits to players' heads

Video seems to show Teddy Bridgewater dropping back, passing

Cavallari shares photo of Cutler in birthday suit on Instagram

Lionel Messi’s suspension puts Argentina in danger of missing World Cup

Report: Chris Long signs one-year deal with Eagles

Witten signs four-year extension with Cowboys

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker