Cal Junior Day Impresses Top OL

The California Golden Bear football program entertained a host of the nation's top recruits this past weekend for their elite junior day, including three of the top offensive line prospects in the West. One of trio is arguably Orange County's best offensive lineman in the 2010 class. After junior day in Berkeley, he says two Pac-10 schools top his list…

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei offensive lineman Chris Ward (6-5, 285) can play guard or tackle at the next level. California has officially offered him, and he took his second visit to Berkeley this past Saturday for junior day. His flight brought him a day early, but Ward took the time to get to know new Golden Bear OL Coach Steve Marshall a little better.

"We got up there a day early," said Ward. "We got to meet the new O-line coach (Steve Marshall). We had a one-on-one with him and the one-on-one with [head coach Jeff] Tedford.

"I really like [Coach Marshall]. He is very personable. I could see myself playing for him."

Ward is an extremely versatile lineman with excellent footwork. With Marshall being a former NFL coach, he knows great footwork is the first step into discovering future left tackles.

"[Coach Marshall] was talking to me about tackle," said Ward. "I haven't really talked to the coaches where I would be playing, but he was talking to me about [left] tackle."

Do you prefer the left side or the right side?

"I can't really say. I haven't played on the right side," Ward added."

Once the official start of junior day began on Saturday afternoon, all the festivities open Ward's eyes. This was not his first visit to Berkeley, but this trip solidified Cal as one of his favorites.

"I definitely met my expectations," Ward said of junior day. "I've been up there before in the summer. It has just gotten better with their new addition that they're building right now. It's a $150 million new complex next to the stadium. It's a toss up between Cal and UCLA [as my favorite]. I go to [UCLA's} junior day on Saturday."

Ward says he is in no rush to decide. He attended junior day at USC last weekend, and will attend the Nike Camp on the Trojan campus next month. He has already taken an official visit to another school of interest, Notre Dame, and has all but crossed the Irish off his list. Nonetheless, he is along for the ride.

"I am going through the process and see where it takes me," said Ward. "I will probably take an official to Cal regardless, but I know them a little bit better. My family supports me in whatever decision I make; [distance] is not going to play a significant role."

Besides Cal, Ward has official offers from UCLA, Washington, Washington State, Stanford and Arizona.

Ward reports a 3.0 GPA. He takes the SAT later this spring.

Stay with and for continuing coverage of Chris Ward's recruitment.

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