SAN ANTONIO - Greg Ward Jr. has always possessed a penchant for making big plays. Now, the former University of Houston quarterback and Peach Bowl MVP is making his mark as a wide receiver for the San Antonio Commanders.
"My focus every day is to become a true wide receiver and get out of the mindset of being a quarterback," Ward said. "Just doing whatever it takes to be good, from running routes to studying whatever my coaches tell me to. I feel like my focus is there."
A late addition to the Commanders' roster, Ward has quickly worked his way up the team's depth chart. Undrafted in 2017, Ward spent the 2017 season on the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad. He was released last September.
"I've been impressed with how quickly he's absorbed what we're doing here," said Daryl Johnston, Commanders' general manager. "He's just one of those guys that is a true football player. He could probably do anything you ask him to do out on the field."
Johnston and his staff just want Ward to become the elite receiver they feel like he's capable of becoming. One thing helping in that endeavor? Ward's time playing quarterback.
"It's really helped me recognize things in the defensive secondary. I can see defenses in the slot, or if i'm outside, I can recognize what they're throwing at me," Ward said.
That knowledge came through last Saturday. In the Commanders' 15-6 win over the San Diego Fleet, Ward turned in a five-catch, 65-yard performance, including a spectacular 39-yard grab for a big gain down the sideline.
"Just having the energy and real vibe of a football game, it was awesome," Ward said.
Ward is certainly making the most of his Commanders opportunity. He and his teammates will look to continue their early-season success Sunday against the Orlando Apollos.
"I really love this team and we've got a great group of guys. We're just going to keep going from here," Ward said.
Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.