Saturday was a big day for many reasons around Tar Heel football, as the team hosted their spring game in Kenan Stadium. While the majority of the focus was on the field for the team, there was a sizable group of recruits on campus to take in the action and they walked away with a new commitment in the 2024 class in the process.
2024 3✮ TE Ryan Ward announced earlier this evening via social media that he was committing to the Tar Heels after his visit yesterday. That trip was Ward’s second visit to Chapel Hill in the last three weeks, the first of which was where he was officially offered by the staff.
Ward is getting set for his final season at Rutherford High School in Rutherford, NJ where he plays both sides of the football. He caught 35 passes for 776 yards and thirteen touchdowns in 2022, while also racking up 9.0 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks on the defensive side of the ball. He earned first team all-state honors as a tight end and played a key part in Rutherford’s run to a second straight state title.
Ward is a nice addition to this class that seems a little underrated by the recruiting sites based on his tape. He spent most of his time split out wide as a receiver because of just how athletic he is and that athleticism shows up both before and after the catch. Playing on the outside has helped him to develop a better route tree than some receivers and he is a really strong route runner for a tight end. While he may play like a receiver in most instances, he does show some nice physicality with the football in his hands, which allows him to gain extra yards. The biggest reason it will take him time to get on the field, though, is his blocking ability. While there are some of the traits there, he does all of his blocking against corners and with a small frame. Adding to his frame and developing him as a blocker will be crucial for the team to do once they get him on campus, but this is a solid first addition for Freddie Kitchens to this room.
With his commitment, the Tar Heels now have ten commitments in the class, nine of which are listed as 3✮’s according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Despite that, the class now sits 12th overall according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings and trails only Florida State in the ACC rankings.