Four-star power forward becomes Michigan State’s first 2016 commitment

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The spring has been good to Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo from a recruiting standpoint. Earlier month five-star prospect Caleb Swanigan made his pledge, and on Wednesday the Spartans received their first verbal commitment in the Class of 2016. Nick Ward, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Gahanna, Ohio, announced via Twitter that he’s committed to Michigan State.

“Nick Ward is a big and bruising forward who should fit perfectly in Tom Izzo’s system at Michigan State,” NBC Sports recruiting insider Scott Phillips said. “Ward isn’t an especially explosive athlete, but he wins every box out and cleans up on the glass, and he does a great job scoring on the interior.”

At Gahanna Lincoln HS Ward played alongside another 2016 player who’s already made his college choice in Syracuse commit Matthew Moyer, and he was named third team Division I all-state by the Associated Press. This spring Ward’s played with the All-Ohio Red program in the Nike EYBL, and he’s put up some good numbers.

Ward’s currently averaging 16.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in EYBL play, and his performances led to added attention on the recruiting trail. A number of programs across the country offered Ward, including Big Ten schools such as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, but it’s Michigan State that lands the physical post player.