Ryan Ward commits to Iowa

Providence senior offensive lineman Ryan Ward has committed to Iowa.

Ward, who is 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, chose the Hawkeyes over Boston College, Michigan State and Northwestern. Ward's older brother, Patrick Ward, is a junior offensive tackle at Northwestern.

"It had to be a difficult decision," Providence coach Mark Coglianese said. "I'm sure Northwestern was probably his second choice. (Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald) is a great guy, and he's doing well there. I think (Ryan is) making a decision based on his future and maybe to get out of his brother's wings a bit."

Ward is ranked the No. 34th offensive tackle in the country by ESPN Recruiting.

"He's very athletic," Coglianese said. "He's got good size, but he's got a body where he can put on 30-40 pounds. He moves well. He's certainly a hard worker. He's always in the weight room. I think he has a lot of upside. I think Iowa sees that. With the tools he has and the coaching Iowa has, he should have a great future."

Ward is the third Chicago-area 2012 recruit to commit to the Hawkeyes. Curie athlete Maurice Fleming and Montini offensive/defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson previously committed to Iowa.

Iowa now has seven Class of 2012 commitments.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.