A three year letterman at Cuyahoga Falls High school, upon graduation, Ballard attended Wilmington College for one year before transferring to Mt. Union College. It was here that the Cuyahoga Falls product made a major impact. Playing the key position of quarterback, Ballard led the Raiders from 1991-93, capping his collegiate career with the first national championship for Mt. Union. During his three years at Mt. Union, he was named honorable mention All-American in his first year and made first team the following two years. He set 13 Division III passing records racking up over 12,000 yards through the air and throwing for 150 touchdowns in his career. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals and in addition to the NFL, Ballard has competed in the Canadian Football League, NFL Europe and Arena Football. He led the Scottish Claymoor team in NFLE to the 1996 World Bowl Championship and was the second all-time leading passer for the Scottish team. He was named to the Scots Hall of Fame in 2001.