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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
ATH Wadood has Ducks on his mind

By Brandon P. Oliver

Whether it is because of his early commitment to Arizona State, his more high-profile teammates boasting offers from the likes of Alabama and USC or his small frame, athlete Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) has spent much of the spring under the radar.

After an early commitment to the Sun Devils -- where his brother Rashad is a defensive back -- the younger Wadood has received increased interest from programs throughout the West. Oregon is one of those programs and the Ducks were a childhood favorite of the versatile Wadood. In fact, Wadood is the only one of the Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco stars to hold an offer from the Ducks.

"I always liked them growing up. They were always my favorite team to watch," Wadood said. "Watching De'Anthony [Thomas] -- a longtime friend -- ball out makes them even better in my eyes. It's crazy to watch him do what he does."

While he remains committed to the Sun Devils, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete concedes that he might have jumped the gun on his commitment.

"I only had three offers at the time and having my brother there helped me feel really comfortable with the program," Wadood said. "Now I have like 10 more offers and feel like I need to take a look at these other schools."

With Oregon as a longtime favorite, where do things stand between the talented athlete and the Ducks?

"I really like Oregon a lot. Coach Neal came by the school and we talked about the NCAA investigation and a lot of other things," Wadood said. "He told me not to worry about it because they don't expect it to be anything too bad."

With a verbal offer and reassurance from the Oregon staff, Wadood plans to visit the Eugene campus in June.

"I'm going up there during the second week of June," he said. "It will be cool to check it out and see everything they have going on."

Most schools are recruiting Wadood as a defensive back, but the Ducks are in the middle of an internal struggle as to which side of the ball Wadood would play.

"Coach Neal was joking around, saying that he is fighting for me all the time," Wadood said. "They offered me as a slot, but if I went there, it wouldn't make a difference to me where I played. As long as I was on the field, I'd be good."