Future Impact: Aca'cedric Ware

Future Impact: Aca'cedric Ware

Cedar Hill High School 14-2 last season in Texas class 5A and ended the year as a one of the country's top ranked football teams.

Some recruiting analysts would consider Cedar Hill (Texas) running back Aca'cedric Ware a reach for USC, while others ponder the possibility of a diamond in the rough.

Although he had scholarship offers from Oklahoma, TCU, Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and Florida, none of those schools seems to make Ware the priority recruit USC did.

“I’m a big believer in the saying, ‘The tape doesn’t lie,” said Scout Midland Recruiting Analysts Greg Powers. “There’s nobody putting in his tape and thinking he can’t play USC level of ball.

“There were some heavy hitters on his offer list, and with the regional schools, Ware may have sent the message out early that he wanted to get away from home.

“Ware can definitely play, so I don’t think he’s that far of a reach. He helped lead Cedar Hill to a state championship in 2013, and although you would like to see his production go up a tad scoring touchdowns, he beat out a senior back for the starting job last year that was very highly touted.

“There’s a lot of competition on that Cedar Hill roster, so he wasn’t going out there competing against slappies. He went against a D-I caliber prospect in Larry Hill, who was a pretty good back himself.”

Powers has seen Ware play on film as well as in person multiple times. While game film may not lie, USC wasn’t taking Blu-Ray’s word in offering Ware a scholarship.

 The Trojans recruiting coordinator Peter Sirmon and area recruiter, Chris Wilson, both evaluated Ware live last May. In June, Ware spent two days at the Rising Stars Camp, where he claims to have run a 4.47 40-yard dash in testing.

“He’s a smooth, gliding style type of back,” said Powers. “He does run out of a uptempo spread style of offense. He reads his blocks well and transitions in and out of his cuts well. He’ll gouge defenses with that gliding style of running.”

The Trojans have been long established as a national recruiting power, but USC rarely goes out of state for three-star prospects. The last time USC had a tailback commit from Texas was in 2006 when Emmanuel Moody made his pledge at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

“There are a few West Coast schools that have dipped into Texas recently and had some success,” said Powers. “I think UCLA, Stanford and Cal all got commitments from players in Texas in 2014.

“A lot of the kids now and even in the future classes are expressing a desire to go out and see the West Coast schools. It’s something gaining traction all around the state. Also bear in mind Texas had 405 D-1 players sign in 2013. That’s up from 370 in 2006. As those numbers go up, there are more opportunities for schools to come in and sign kids.”

In the case of Ware, USC gets a 5-foot-11, 190-pound tailback out of one of the state’s top ranked high school football programs. And Powers sees the real potential for Ware to transcend his current star rating.

“He’s also a leader for that Cedar Hill squad,” said Powers. “He’s the type of kid that steps up and puts a chip on his shoulder every game.

“He is very determined and focused, so he’s not the type of player that would surprise me if he ended up being better in college than he is even in high school. I’ve seen him in plenty of camps and combines live. He is always the first guy in line to get reps.

“He’s that kid who is up front and center leading the group through every drill. He gets it and will be the type of kid who comes in focused and ready to work for USC.”

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