By JOHN SHINN
NORMAN — Oklahoma’s baseball program recently received a highly coveted letter of intent. Drew Ward, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound infielder from Leedey, signed with the Sooners. Getting him in an OU uniform next season, however, is far from a done deal.
Ward is in his third year of high school baseball, but has elected to graduate from high school a year early. In two and a half seasons, he’s become one of the most decorated prep players in Oklahoma history.
A right-handed thrower and left-handed batter, Ward is hitting .565 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs this spring. He has a .780 on-base percentage and a 1.217 slugging percentage. Since his freshman season, he has a career .571 batting average with 63 home runs, 233 RBIs and 247 walks.
“We are very excited to have Drew and his family joining our family here at Oklahoma Baseball,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said in statement Wednesday afternoon. “Drew’s outstanding talent speaks for itself on the diamond, but what is even more impressive is the character of this young man. We are honored he will be a Sooner for life.”
Signing with OU was a natural choice for Ward. Ward’s father, Gregg, grandfather, Bob, and uncle, Mark, as well as cousins Paul McCurtain and John Russell all played baseball at Oklahoma. Ward’s, mother, Susan, also competed in track and field for the Sooners.
However, it’s the other document that will be dangled in front of Ward that could keep him from playing at OU.
He’s currently projected as a top 100 player in the class of 2013. Ward, 18, could rocket up those rankings since he didn’t decide until last month to graduate from high school this spring. He was projected as a top five player in the 2014 class.
Ward is the 11th high school player and 15th total to sign with Oklahoma for the 2014 season.