Treshaun Ward practiced like he belonged at Florida State. And often practiced like he belonged on scholarship.
Ward made the most of his in-game opportunities, first in the Sun Bowl in December 2019 as he accumulated 44 yards on 10 carries. In FSU’s win over Duke to close out 2020, Ward had two runs for 54 yards — including a 26-yard touchdown.
It’s clear how Ward has practiced as well as how he has performed in a few games made an impression on Norvell. This spring, Ward was extended a scholarship by Norvell and the FSU coaching staff.
“Yeah, the scholarship meant a lot to me,” Ward said. “Taking that weight off my mom’s shoulder for paying the school tuition and stuff like that, it took a lot of weight off her and my shoulders.”
Ward arrived at FSU after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Tampa Bay Tech, turning down other colleges because he felt he could be a Power 5 running back. “I just bet on myself and rolled the dice,” Ward said.
The roll of the dice has paid off, quite literally, with a scholarship. He woke up one morning in the spring and saw repeated phone calls from running backs coach David Johnson, who said he needed to connect with Norvell.
“And then I called coach Norvell, he asked me what I was doing asleep,” Ward said. “At that time we were off and I was trying to get caught up on sleep. But then he relayed the news back to me and said I was on scholarship and to keep doing the things I was doing and keep producing on offense and keep producing on special teams as well.”
Norvell called Ward “an ultimate competitor.”
“That started here as a walk on as we got to watch him grow and develop,” Norvell said. “He changed our recruiting thoughts a year ago because he’s a guy who I think has huge upside. I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of really good backs and Treshaun has a skill-set that I think can be really special. His vision, his running ability, the toughness, what he does without the ball in his hands, I’m excited about his continued growth and development.”
But Ward, a redshirt freshman, knows earning a scholarship is just part of his journey, giving him confidence to push harder to make himself and the team better. It remains to be seen just how much playing time Ward will see this fall and it’s likely he’s competing with D.J. Williams, Deonte Sheffield and Corey Wren for the No. 3 spot in terms of carries behind Jashaun Corbin and Lawrance Toafili.
Ward has often impressed in camp with his ability to run off tackle and turn upfield. He’s also put time in and taking strides as a blocker, realizing the path to playing more involves improvement in pass protection. The motivation has always been there. So has the competitiveness. Ward has so far made the most of his opportunities and the scholarship has undoubtedly helped his confidence.
“It took me to another level,” Ward said. “Just because I got the scholarship doesn’t mean I can just stay the same and stay mediocre. It just allowed me to push more and it just gave me an opportunity and allowed them to believe in me. It took my game to the next level after they put me on scholarship.”