At the recent NIKE combine in Oakland (Calif.) over the weekend, we caught up with former Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds tight end Naderris Ward who was on hand to watch some former teammates of his compete. Ward signed with Georgia out of high school but decided he wanted to play closer to home and said he's looking at a pair of Pac 10 schools right now.
Ward, 6-5, 255 pounds was one of the nation's elite tight ends a out of the class of 2005. He turned down offers from schools all around the country to sign with the Dawgs who had been a heavy leader all year long.
"I liked Georgia but I just wanted to be closer to home," Ward said on Sunday. "I had some illness in my family and I just wanted to be closer to my family and friends.
"I visited Arizona a week ago and really liked it there. I like the coaches and the offense and they told me they're planning to make the tight end a focal point in what they do. They like to throw the ball a lot so I think it would be a good fit for me.
"In April, I'm going to visit Oregon and to be honest, I'm leaning pretty good to Oregon right now. I like what they do and I like the school a lot. I was interested in Oregon in high school and I think it's a perfect location for me.
"The school is close to home but still not too close to home so I still can feel like I'm getting away. Cal was a little close to home for me but I think Oregon and Arizona as well are both just about right.
"After I take my visit to Oregon, I'll compare the two school to each other and them make my decision. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and competing again. I'll have to sit out a year but I'll still have two years left and I plan to make the most of it."