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Bedford principal who died at spin class was father to Cleveland Browns draft pick Denzel Ward

Denzel Ward will be a hometown favorite, but his father has already left an impact on Northeast Ohio.

BEREA -- The Cleveland Browns on Thursday chose Ohio State corner Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick of the NFL draft.

Ward was also a Nordonia High School grad, meaning he'll be a hometown favorite.

But it's his father who also had an impact on Northeast Ohio.

MORE | Cleveland Browns select Denzel Ward with fourth overall pick of 2018 NFL draft

Ward's father, Paul Ward Jr., died unexpectedly during a spin class two years ago. The 46-year-old was the principal at Carylwood Intermediate School in Bedford. His death shocked friends, family and the Bedford community. A street near the school was renamed in his honor.

Over 26 career games in three seasons with the Buckeyes, Denzel Ward registered 47 solo tackles, 20 assists, two stops for lost yardage, two interceptions and 24 passes defended. Ward finished his final season at Ohio State with 30 solo stops, seven assists, two tackles for lost yardage, two interceptions and 15 passes defended.

RELATED | Praise for Bedford principal who died in spin class