Few players have generated as much early intrigue as Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian athlete Aaron Ware. Will he follow his brother Matt to UCLA? Does the fact that Matt left early for the NFL indicate the family is unhappy with things in Westwood? What was a lifelong Bruin fan doing at USC's summer football camp last summer? Here's the latest on one of the top players in the West region.
It has been amazing watching Ware basically grow up before our eyes. The first time we met him, Ware was still in 8th grade and now he's all set to become one of the nation's top recruits. At 6-0, 185 pounds, Ware is a top prospect at both running back and cornerback and although he's not quite the player Matt was at the same stage, he could be the better college prospect for the reason he has more of a set position to play.
It's unfair to compare the brothers but at the same time, comparison's are inevitable. Matt played quarterback and safety in high school and started as a true freshman at UCLA at corner. He moved to safety as a sophomore but then switched back to corner the last half of his sophomore year and stayed there as a junior. At 6-3, 220 pounds, Matt has safety size but corner appears to be his best position and where he'll be drafted to play as well.
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The younger Ware has very good size for a corner as well and is the fastest member of the family. He clocked a personal best 10.65 time in the 100m as a sophomore year last year and is hoping to run in the low 10.5 range this year. He has great feet, very good quickness and we love his upside as a future college cornerback because of not only his physical size and speed but because he's so smart and heady on the field.
Ware earned All-State Underclass honors for the second year in a row this past season after rushing for 1,787 yards on 207 carries (8.6 ave.) and 23 touchdowns. He really came alive during the Lions playoff run rushing for 686 yards yards and nine touchdowns in the teams four playoff wins to lead Oaks to the Div XI CIF Championship.
"I really don't have a preference between the two positions," Ware said. "A lot will depend on which college I attend and where the school needs me the most. I like both positions a lot and don't really favor one over the other. I like having the ball in my hands but at the same time, I know I have the size a lot of colleges like in a corner so it's up in the air."
Where Ware will play his college ball is also up in the air. At this same stage of his recruitment, Matt was already committed to UCLA but the younger Ware has no plans for an early commitment.
"Yeah, I remember walking in to Bob Toledo's office with Matt and my parents the day after Signing Day when he was a junior," Ware said. "When he committed to UCLA, it was the greatest thing and I remember sitting there thinking that's exactly what I want to do when I'm a junior. Everyone knows it but I come from a Bruin family. Both my mom and dad went there and Matt and I were raised on loving UCLA. It's definitely in my blood and I'll be a Bruin for life but I plan on going through the recruiting process and want to take a couple of trips before I make any decision.
"It's not anything against UCLA, it's just I want to be sure I've seen everything out there before I decide what to do. UCLA hasn't offered me yet but even if they did, I would still want to go through the process and take my trips. I don't go on the message boards but I hear what's being said. I've heard all the talk that Matt hated it at UCLA and as a result. I won't be going there. That's not true at all. Matt loved his time at UCLA and likes the coaches they have there now. It was tough for him having to go through a coaching change and a position change but I know he would like to see me at UCLA.
"To be honest though, we haven't really had time to talk about that much yet. He has been so busy preparing for the Draft that we have yet to really sit down and talk about my recruitment and that's something I really want to do with him. We talked last week about finding time to do that. I want to pick his brain a little and get his opinion on some things. Right now, I'm just open. I'm hearing from every school in the Pac 10- UCLA, USC, Stanford, Washington, Oregon, Arizona State plus schools like Notre Dame, Boston College, Northwestern and a few others. The main ones I'm looking at now are UCLA, Cal, Washington and Colorado in no order. I think those are the four I would like to visit but it's still pretty early in the process."
As for any interest in the Bruins cross town rival USC right now?
"I don't think USC will be an option for me, I would probably get disowned in this house," Ware said jokingly. "I camped there last summer just to see what it was like but I think I'll be going in a different direction. They have a good thing going on right now but I'm happy with the other schools on my list."