Cats Land JUCO Defensive Back

The Wildcats 2008 recruiting class got off to a great start when Hamilton High School QB Gerrell Robinson committed to the Arizona program a few months ago. Now that the evaluation period is starting in earnest the Cats have nabbed commitment number two for the '08 class.

Santa Rosa Junior College safety/cornerback Clarence Ward has told the Wildcat coaching staff that he is officially a Wildcat.

"Yeah, I officially committed two days ago," said an excited Ward. "It is just a perfect fit for me personally and academically and for football. I can't wait to get down there and get to work."

Ward originally signed with and enrolled at Florida State but left Tallahassee for personal reasons. His girlfriend was pregnant with his son and he thought it best to leave school briefly to move back to Texas and help with the new addition to the family.

"I loved Florida State but I had to get back to Texas and be close to her," he said. "She was about ready to give birth to my son and I thought it was best for me to go back and help with what I could and provide for her and my son, Cah'lil. That is why I went to (Texas) Tech."

After a brief stay in Lubbock, Clarence decided to go the JUCO route to improve himself, both on the field and in the classroom.

"I got on the internet and looked for the best junior college I could find," Clarence admitted. "Santa Rosa had everything that I wanted in a school and a football program so I chose to come out here and try to get everything in my life straight. I like it here a lot and things are going great and I am looking forward to being here and getting to Arizona."

When Clarence graduates next December it will be a true family affair for the Ward clan in Southern Arizona. His sister is already living in the area and is stationed here (Army) and his girlfriend and son will be moving here also.

"I think my whole family is going to try and relocate to Arizona," he said. "My girlfriend and son are moving down there and my mom is going to try and move there also. I am looking forward to all of us being there together."

Ward's lead recruiter is UA Special Teams guru and defensive ends coach Joe Robinson and the two have developed an honest relationship according to Clarence.

"Coach JoeRob is great," he said. "I like him a lot and he really cares about me and what I can do. I really appreciate he and Coach (Mike) Stoops for giving me this chance to go to Arizona. Coach Robinson was really excited when I committed and we talked for about an hour."

Ward went on to admit that he has talked with Mike Stoops as well and that he is looking forward to Clarence getting to Tucson.

"I talked to Coach Stoops and he was excited and happy when I told him I was coming too," said Ward. "He told me that if I do things the right way and keep going in the right direction then the sky is the limit for me."

Ward is a very versatile athlete and can literally play any of the four secondary spots. But according to Clarence, the Arizona coaches have a plan for where they want to use him.

"I am a versatile player," he said. "I can bring it when I hit but I can get the pick and cover too. I am probably better at covering and that is what Coach Stoops told me is that they want me to start at cornerback and that is fine with me. Whatever I can do to help the team and whatever coach thinks is best for me then that is what I am going to do."

Ward will have 2 years to play 2 once he graduates in December but there is a chance for a third year of eligibility left according to Clarence.

"I want to appeal for a medical year for when I was injured at Florida State," he said. "If I get that then I will have three years to play as a Wildcat."

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