An All-American offensive lineman for the Buckeyes in 1976 and ‘77, Ward started 36 consecutive games (beginning in ‘75) for Ohio State during a period that saw the Scarlet and Gray win six straight Big Ten titles.
He blocked for Archie Griffin in Griffin’s second Heisman Trophy campaign and was a four-time Big Ten champion.
The Patterson Co-Op grad was the No. 4 pick in the 1978 NFL Draft and played 100 pro games for the Jets and Saints.
According to a news release from Ohio State, Ward became involved in the ministry after retiring from pro football.
He has a degree in bible studies from the Ministry Training Institute and both a master’s degree and his Ph.D in counseling and theology from the Ministry Training Institute. Ward went on to establish Ward International, a secular after school program that helps at-risk youth.
The Academic All-American is set to become the 28th person inducted into the CFB Hall of Fame from Ohio State as a player, a group that also includes fullback Bob Ferguson of Troy and running back Keith Byars of Dayton Roth.
Six Ohio State coaches are also enshrined, including Clifton native Woody Hayes.
Players must have been first-team All-Americans to be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame, 10 years removed from their last college game and no longer active in the pros.
Former Ohio State defensive coordinator Mark Danotnio is also set to be inducted for his successful runs as head coach at Cincinnati and Michigan State.
The rest of the player class is headlined by Marshall receiver Randy Moss and Pittsburgh receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Joining them are Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, UCLA tailback Paul Cameron, Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch, Florida State running back Warrick Dunn, Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards, Colorado cornerback Deon Figures, Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, Arkansas defensive tackle Dan Hampton, Michigan offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, Alabama cornerback Antonio Langham, North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers, Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny, Oklahoma defensive lineman Dewey Selmon, Utah quarterback Alex Smith, Texas A&M cornerback Kevin Smith and Chadron State running back Danny Woodhead.
The players and coaches will be recognized on their campuses this fall, and the class will be inducted during the NFF’s awards dinner in Las Vegas in December.