Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds tight end NaDerris Ward took his second official visit in as many weeks this past weekend to Arizona. Ward visited LSU last weekend and will head back to the South this upcoming weekend to check out Tennessee.
Ward, 6-5, 250 pounds is a big time tight end prospect with his choice of just about any school in the country. Four of Ward's five official visits are to SEC schools so the visit to Tucson was a chance for Ward to see what it would be like to play closer to home.
"Yeah, I talked with Coach Carter (McClymonds head coach) and he we thought I should take at least one of my visits to a school close to home. I had a really good time in Arizona and there are a lot of pluses to the program.
"I flew out Friday night after our game and had a chance to hang out with some of the players and coaches. Willie Tuitama was one of my hosts and I know Willie real well. I used to go and catch passes for Roger Theder (QB coach) when Willie worked out with him and we're pretty close. Adrian McCovey was my other host and I got along well with both guys a lot.
"Saturday was an academic day and I was very impressed with the presentation. I want to major in Agriculture so I had a chance to talk to some people on that field and they have an impressive program there. After seeing the campus and facilities, we all went to the game. They played Oregon real tough and I thought they deserved to win. They played hard and were just a few plays away from winning it.
"Watching Arizona, I really think they're close to turning the corner. They're just a few players away from being a good program and I like the overall leadership and direction the program is going. I already had a pretty good relationship with the coaches but I bonded even more with them on the trip. Coach Kish and Coach Heupel are the ones that are recruiting me and I like both guys a lot. I also like the offense and how they use the tight end. The depth chart is also pretty favorable to me so overall, it was a good visit."
In comparing the two visits he has taken so far, Ward said he may have to give a slight edge to LSU right now.
"I loved both places but I felt a little more comfortable with the players at LSU," Ward said. "Everyone there is just really down to earth and easy to get along with. They were both great though and I think the other schools I visit are going to have a lot to live up to. Right now, Georgia is still my top school. They have been recruiting me so hard this whole year but I'm not closing the door to anyone yet and just really want to see how well I get along with the players and coaches at all the schools and just where I feel the most comfortable, that is going to be really important to me."