Tigers S Jay Ward’s 2022 player profile

Going into the 2022 football season, LSU Wire will be looking at each scholarship player listed on the Tigers roster.

Over the preseason, each profile will cover where the player is from, how recruiting websites rated them coming out of high school, and what role they will play for Brian Kelly this season.

This time around, we’ll take a look at a veteran who figures to be a starter in the defensive back in safety Jay Ward, who has seen action in 33 games during his career in Baton Rouge.

Preseason Player Profile

Hometown: Moultrie, Georgia

Ht: 6-1

Wt: 188

247Sports Composite Ranking

Three stars | No. 54 in Georgia | No. 50 cornerback

Class in 2021: Junior

Career Stats

Year G Everything Alone FF PDef INT TDs
2019 13 4 3 0 3 0 0
2020 9 29 22 1 9 3 1
2021 11 71 41 1 6 2 0

PFF Rankings (Team Rankings)

Year Defense Run Defense Tackling Pass Rush Coverage
2019 69.6 65.3 78.2 65.0 67.6
2020 66.3 43.7 28.3 73.1 69.2
2021 61.2 70.0 63.4 54.4 55.8

Depth Chart Overview

Ward enters the season with some question marks, but he’s still likely to be the starter at free safety for Game 1. He began his career as a cornerback, playing in every game as a true freshman in 2019 but mostly on special teams.

In 2020, he started three games and appeared in nine of 10. Though his action was limited, it proved to be his best season in coverage as he registered his best grade in that regard from Pro Football Focus while also totaling a career best nine pass breakups and three picks.

He moved to safety in the spring ahead of 2021, and he started all 11 games he appeared in last year. While he was very good against the run, he wasn’t great in coverage. If he wants to retain his starting position, he’ll have to fend off some challengers.

Major Burns returns, and the Tigers added Joe Foucha from Arkansas in the transfer portal as well. Foucha will likely start at strong safety opposite Ward, but the Tigers will hope to see a better performance from the senior this season.

Players’ Photo Gallery

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