Milan’s Ballard ready for senior season
Will announce college choice Aug. 17
By Victor Parkins
When Milan opens the season on August 18 against Humboldt, Anthony Ballard will already know where he’ll play football in college.
The night before the first game, Ballard plans to announce his college of choice among teammates and family.
“I’m hoping that my family will host the first ‘feed the players’ night at my house so I can announce there,” said Ballard, who has already qualified academically and wants to study Pre-Law in college.
Ballard, a rising senior, has a growing list of 10 Division I schools that have offered him football scholarships.
In no particular order, Tennessee Tech, Southeast Missouri State, Navy, Army West Point, Liberty, Central Arkansas, Brown University, Air Force, Missouri State and Murray State have all offered Ballard scholarships.
With a 6-2, 210 pound frame, good grades and an impressive stat sheet, it’s easy to see why schools like Memphis and Purdue are also expressing interest in the tailback.
Ballard rushed for 2,756 career yards and 34 touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons. He’s added 30 pounds in the off-season, which he believes will help him even more this year.
“I’ve really worked hard in the weight room in the off-season to get bigger. I’m lifting a lot more weight and that’s helped me get bigger. I want to use my size to my advantage this season. My vision in the open field has also improved. I feel like if I get past the secondary I’m going to score a touchdown,” he added.
Ballard can clean 325 pounds. That’s 50 more than the next strongest player on the team.
“Coach Morris wants me to be less hesitant running the ball. He stresses to make one cut and get up field. All the recruiters are telling me the same thing so I know he knows what he’s talking about.”
With plenty of experience entering the 2017 season, Ballard is confident that he can lead the Bulldogs to another banner year.
“We lost a lot last year but I’ve got confidence in who we have coming back. This will be the same team that I played with in junior high and our freshman season. We’ve got some 300 pound guys and a bunch of others that can play.”
While his ultimate goal is to win a state championship, Ballard said he’s also set a goal to become a Mr. Football finalists and get an invitation to play in the East-West All Star game.
As for his college choice, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia is at the top of his list.
“They’re really recruiting me hard,” noted Ballard. “They’ve got a growing program and its the largest Christian school in the country. I hope to visit the campus soon.”