Ward Says He Has Two Leaders

One of the best offensive line prospects in the west for 2010 is 6-6, 300-pound offensive line prospect from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, Chris Ward. He's visited a few Junior Days a two schools now stand out for him...

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei offensive tackle Chris Ward is one of the elite linemen in the West and the target of several Pac-10 schools is beginning to formulate a list of leaders, with strong Golden State ties.

Ward has gone to Junior Days at USC, Cal and UCLA, but it's the latter two who've made him a focus and a priority, and this Ward is returning the love.

"Those two are probably my leaders, UCLA and Cal," said Ward. "After them, it's pretty wide open."

After attending USC's Junior Day, Ward trekked up to the Bay Area to visit Berkeley.

"Cal was really good and it was an eye opener for me," said Ward. "I just had a good time there. I took a mini-tour when I was on campus. Cal said they definitely like me as a tackle. Getting to meet Coach (Steve) Marshall, the new offensive line coach for the first time and getting to know him was one of the highlights."

Then earlier this month, Ward made a shorter trip to UCLA, for the Bruins' Junior Day. He said: "It was really cool, I had been up there before, but just getting to see the other guys that are interested in going there and getting to meet more of the coaching staff was cool. Before, I had only met Coach (Bob) Palcic and Coach (Rick) Neuheisel but I got to speak with Coach (Norm) Chow a little more. Still, I talk mainly with Coach Neuheisel and Coach Palcic." Like Cal, UCLA likes Ward as a tackle, but he also said that they haven't specified if tackle would be the only position he'd come in and play. "UCLA hasn't said much about which specific spot I'd play," said Ward. "Coach Palcic said wherever I fit in best."

From the two, though, Ward wasn't able to separate one from the either. "Not at the moment," said Ward. "I like them both a lot. And I'm not rushing things. I think I'll take a little more time, I can't really give an exact time when I want to decide."

Ward also has offers from Washington, Washington State, Arizona and Stanford to go along with Cal and UCLA. USC and Notre Dame are also watching him closely.

Academically, Ward is carrying a 3.0 GPA and will take the SAT in the spring.

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