Cole Ballard’s recruitment took a turn upward last week when FCS school St. Thomas offered the 6-foot, 190-pound athlete.
Ballard, a two-way player, running back and safety added the Tommies were the first Division I school to offer Ballard. Division II schools Augustana and Bemidji State have previously offered.
Through three games Ballard has impressive numbers. 59 carries, 369 yards and five touchdowns rushing. His six catches (78 yards) and two receiving touchdowns are second on the team.
A handful of schools have shown significant interest in Ballard. South Dakota State, Nebraska as a preferred walk-on, Drake and other regional Division II programs have all been in contact. Although he is yet to take an official visit he has taken a few game day visits.
“ I’ve taken a game day visit to Nebraska and Augsutana,” he said. “I plan on going to SDSU for a game day visit and likely will get to St. Thomas.”
Ballard is more than a running back, he starts for the Storm at rover and has the ability to return punts and kicks if called upon.
“The only school that is talking to me as a safety is St. Thomas,” Ballard said. “The other schools are looking at me as a running back. South Dakota State has said either or.”
Like most athletes that play multiple positions, Ballard isn’t too concerned with what position he plays at the next level.
“I don’t really care what position I play in college,” he said. “I want to find the best fit for me athletically and academically.”
Elkhorn South have made the quarterfinals at a minimum since moving to Class A in 2018. The Storm lost in the 2020 title game to Bellevue West (37-21).
With the recruiting attention starting to trend upward, Ballard has remained singularly focused.
“Winning a state championship is the goal,” he said. “I think we have what it takes to get it done. Last year was a little disappointing and I think we have a good shot this year.”