New OL Commitment is a Throwback, Smashmouth Offensive Lineman

In Jacobe Ward, Hugh Freeze and Auburn Tigers might have added the kind of feisty interior blocker who makes the running game tick.
Auburn Tigers offensive line commitment Jacobe Ward
Auburn Tigers offensive line commitment Jacobe Ward / Dennis Knight/ / USA TODAY NETWORK
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It's safe to say that behemoth High School OL Jacobe Ward is a big young man who many major college programs highly coveted.

In addition to the interest from the Auburn Tigers - Ward also had short-listed Tennessee and LSU as the other programs he most wanted to play for, but there were a whole host of other suitors..

When push came to shove, the 6-foot-4, 335 pounder from Savannah, Ga., where he attended Benedictine Military School was finally sold on joining Auburn. 

"It came down to environment at the school and the relationships I developed with the coaches - it was at a different level at Auburn," Ward told Dennis Knight of the Savannah Morning News. "I'm glad I made my decision early and I'm 1000% committed. Now I can focus on our team at Benedictine and our only goal is to win another state title."

Ward becomes the 16th recruit in this window to pledge their commitment to the Tigers. He's also the 5th offensive lineman to verbally commit. Indeed, after 4-Star prospect Carde Smith had changed his mind about coming to Auburn, it made a lot of sense that Auburn HC Hugh Freeze might dip his toe back into the available OL talent pool.

Of course, what really stands out immediately about Ward is his sheer size. After playing right tackle for Benedictine, perhaps Auburn OL Coach Jake Thornton projects his new recruit more as an interior blocker, in the short term at least. He is listed as an interior offensive line prospect by the recruiting services.

Although Thornton will be getting his hands on a fairly raw physical specimen, he's got a lot of clay to work with after Ward completes his senior year.

Furthermore, Ward has been a part of a winning set-up at Benedictine, and he's found a lot of success as a particularly powerful road grader in the running game.

Trevor Coleman was Ward's OL Coach at Benedictine, and he admitted that Auburn will be getting a player who has a feisty competitive nature to contend with at times.

In the final analysis however, that kind of nasty approach to getting the job exactly defines the ones who have traditionally excelled at playing the guard spot.

"Sometimes we butt heads on the sidelines of games, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that," Coleman told Knight. "It's because we're both so competitive. And I appreciate having someone out there who can tell me what they see and give me their opinion. Jacobe knows the game and knows what the defense is doing, so I'm 100% confident listening to what he has to say."

Another year spent improving his overall conditioning and technique under the close control of Coleman figures to be an additional boost for the Tigers coaching staff. 

It also comes in handy to know that a player with some serious winning DNA is going to be joining somewhat of a revolution in the trenches which is happening at Auburn moving forward.

Keith Cummings