The award is presented to the nation's top scholar-athlete –essentially making it the academic equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Ward holds a 3.94 overall grade point average in the McCormick School, where he majors in mechanical engineering. In his major classes, Ward said he has all ‘A' grades.
"It's a tremendous honor and a real humbling honor," Ward said. "It's a great feeling to be recognized with such an outstanding group of student athletes."
Although Ward sets his sights on the NFL, he is also interested in pursuing a career involving aerospace engineering.
Ward, a respected teammate, helps to lead a solid Northwestern offensive line this season. In spite of several inexperienced starters, the line has done solid work in pass protection and run blocking.
Ward continues to excel at the left tackle position. After two years as a starter at right tackle, he replaced Al Netter on the left side and adjusted well.
Ward was named as a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy on Sept. 27. In 2011, he earned Capital One Academic All-America honors.
Ward will travel to New York for the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, where the winner of the trophy will be announced.