While clicking through the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers’ website, I was a bit confused about what position Jeff Ward plays.  He is still listed as a defensive back on the roster, but then is called a running back in several stories, despite most of his 2013 stats being accumulated as a receiver.  However, one fact is very clear- Jeff Ward is the focal point of the NCAA Division II Panthers’ offense.

Jeff Ward, focal point of the Panthers' offense (photo from kwcpathers.com)

Jeff Ward, focal point of the Panthers’ offense (photo from kwcpathers.com)

Ward started his career as a defensive back, getting a little playing time in his freshman year, and then began playing both sides of the ball as a sophomore, in 2011. Last year, Ward began focusing on offense, leading the team in rushing for the second straight year, with 5.6 yards per cary and was also the Panthers’ leading receiver.

As dangerous as he is at receiver and running back, probably the most exciting part of Ward’s game is his kick returning ability.  In only 11 career punt returns, he has two touchdowns.  He’s added two kickoff returns for scores, one already this year. In fact, this season he is on pace to gain 1,217 yards on kickoff returns.  To put that in perspective, the all time division II record is 1,234.

Ward has led his team in all-purpose yards since 2011, including 246 per game in this young season. He may play a level below Liberty, but his stats are eye-popping nonetheless. If you were to ask Ward about his domination of the Panthers’ box scores, he might tell you it’s because he’s a warrior.  That is also why he would choose Brad Pitt to play him in the movie of his life, as he himself states in this interview:

This Saturday, keep your eye on the Panthers’ number 7.  It won’t be Brad Pitt, but there is touchdown potential every time he touches the ball. Even though this game was obviously scheduled by the Flames as a last warm-up before heading into conference play, it will still be interesting to see how much trouble Jeff Ward can cause in Williams Stadium.