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
“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
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.
Offer made for Wade
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