Offer made for Wade

Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) three-star Rick Wade was a huge receiving target for the Eagles Saturday as a tight end, but the 6-foot-6, 230-pound jumbo athlete feels most comfortable playing defense.

Santa Margarita (Calif.) Rick Wade is known as a defensive end, and at 6-foot-6, 235-pounds, looks the part of a young J.J. Watt.

But Saturday at the Battle At The Beach, Wade was playing tight end for the Eagles. A day later, USC became the latest school to offer him a scholarship.

The assumption would be that USC wants Wade as a tight end, but in the crowd at Edison High School was Trojan defensive line coach Chris Wilson, whose son Caleb Wilson plays quarterback for Serra High School.

the fact remains, until Sunday, USC was a school missing from the conversation for Wade’s commitment.

The question was, did Wade not have interest in USC or did USC not have interest in Wade?

“It was definitely them more than me,” said Wade. “I’m supposed to go up there soon for a visit, so we’ll see. They hadn’t been showing me much love, but then Coach (Steve) Sarkisian called my coach and said they were offering me a scholarship.

“That’s huge because they’re big on my list. I grew up around here loving USC and my dad went to USC. I’ve always been a fan, so this changes things for me. I was hopeful they would offer.”

In fact, Wade was leaning toward committing to UCLA before the end of summer. An early decision on college is still in the works for Wade, but the Trojans' scholarship offer will force him to reevaluate his options.

“I think a lot of schools getting to evaluate me in person see that I can make an impact when I’m on the field,” said Wade. “I may not be the fastest, or the biggest, but I play with a lot of heart and aggressiveness.”

Ironically, Sarkisian and many of his assistant coaches saw that when they were at Washington.

“Coach Sark offered me when he was at Washington,” said Wade. “They were all go with me up there, so when they came to USC, I didn’t think there would be an issue.

“I went up there to visit them during their spring game and a couple of practices at USC, but nothing. I know the coaches and already have a good relationship with them, but I still want to get up there and visit again now that they have offered.”

Wade says UCLA, Cal and Oregon are the other schools in the lead pack for his college commitment. Attending the Bruins’ Elite Camp, Wade was offered a scholarship working out as a defensive end and linebacker.

“It really depends on what I grown into to or out of,” said Wade. “They might want me as a linebacker or maybe a defensive tackle. I feel most comfortable playing defense, but if the team I go to needs me to play tight end, I’d be more than happy to.”

The decision on where he goes will happen sooner rather than later.

“I’m going to commit before the season starts,” said Wade. “I want to focus on school and my season and not worry about recruiting.

“When I commit I’m going to be sure about it. I’m a man of my word, so I don’t see myself taking visits to other schools after that.”

Wade is on track that, if he chooses to, could graduate from Santa Margarita in December.

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