Warren Ball is one of the top prospects in the Midwest for 2012, and the Ohio State tailback commit is determined to finish his senior season in fine fashion. After being dogged by injury the past two seasons, Ball is working hard in the weight room to increase his size and strength.
Ball, 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, is currently running track for Columbus DeSales in an effort to get faster. He is ranked as a four-star prospect on Scout, and is listed as the number-four player in the state of Ohio.
"I'm running track right now and I'm doing the one-hundred, two-hundred, four-hundred, and the relays," Ball stated. "I ran an 11.1 hundred last night and I think I can run faster. My two-hundred time is 22.9., so things are going pretty good. I'm also 100% healthy again, which is great."
The Ohio State spring game was last Saturday and Ball attended with his family. He came away impressed with what he saw of the Buckeye squad.
"It was great being at Ohio State for the spring game and we had a great time," he explained. "It was great seeing players competing for starting positions, like the quarterbacks and the tailbacks, and that's exciting to watch. I also spoke with the coaching staff, which is always great to me."
"As the time gets closer to me actually playing for Ohio State, it's really starting to hit me," he continued. "I'm really starting to feel like part of the Ohio State family, mainly because of my relationships with the players and coaches. I've also grown closer to the other commits, and we talk all the time about what we intend to accomplish at Ohio State."
With Ohio State still awaiting the NCAA's decision on possible sanctions against the football program, one might wonder if Ball is reconsidering his decision to commit to Ohio State, and he addressed that issue.
"What's being said about Ohio State in the media has no impact on me at all," he stressed. "I'm 100% behind the Ohio State program and there's no doubt at all about my commitment. I think so much of (head coach) Jim Tressel and always will."
"I spoke to Coach Tressel at the spring game, and he was at my high school a while back to speak to the student body," he continued. "We are having a series of speakers at DeSales, and Coach Tressel spoke about a week ago. He talked about living for the moment and staying humble, and it was a great message. He talked about setting goals and how to accomplish them, and it was an inspiring talk."
Ball has received a lot of accolades regarding his football talent, including several great scholarship offers, but he remains driven to improve as a player and expects to be better as a senior in 2011.
"I've been working hard in the weight room, and I'm studying the mental part of the game even more," Ball said. "I'm working on flexibility and core strength, mainly doing everything I need to do to be a better player, because I haven't proven anything yet. I'm prepared to have a great senior season."
"My two injuries were just bad luck and part of football," he added. "There was nothing that could have prevented either one, especially the high ankle sprain from last year. The way a player rolled over on it was just the way it goes and could have happened to anyone. My sophomore year I had a groin strain and I have worked on more hip strength and I've never had a problem again."
In anticipation of his senior year at DeSales, Ball has set certain goals he hopes to accomplish, both on the football field and in the classroom.
"Most importantly I want to continue to focus on my schoolwork, and finish out the year with a 4.0 GPA," Ball exclaimed. "My academic success means more to me than my football career, and my parents have stressed that from the beginning. From a football standpoint, obviously we want to win a state championship and win our league. We are hoping to go out strong as a senior class with an undefeated season."
"I doubt I will be graduating early from high school and enrolling at Ohio State," he continued. "I really believe I will stay in high school throughout the entire school year. I want to take every step in the proper order, and do things the right way, so I probably won't graduate early."
Ball in action from his junior season: Watch Video