January 14, 2009

McGuire was the difference for Ward

In what has to be described as one of the biggest surprises of the 2009 recruiting cycle, Wichita Falls (TX) Rider wide receiver, and long-time Oklahoma commit, Eric Ward enrolled at Texas Tech for the spring semester, effectively putting an end to his recruitment. The four-star prospect attended class on Tuesday, will sign with the Red Raiders on National Signing Day and has been cleared to fully participate in the program's offseason activities.

"They're both good schools, don't get me wrong," said Ward, when asked what drove his decision. "I never really thought about switching, to be honest with you. I was always faithful to my commitment, I just came here [on a visit] and liked it. I looked at the plays and all that and I felt more comfortable here."

Had it not been for Ward's relationship with his recruiting coach, Texas Tech special teams coach Clay McGuire, the talented wideout would be preparing to move to Norman.

"I'd like to say one thing about him," offered Ward, unprovoked. "He did such a good job. I told him I was a total commitment to OU a long time ago and he told me he'd never give up. I really respect that. If not for him, I would be at Oklahoma right now.

"He's like a coach, but then again he's like an older brother. It's a family-type relationship."

The opportunity to play in Mike Leach's Air Raid offense was also a factor in Ward's decision.

"I already know most of the plays of Texas Tech's offense because I played in it in high school," he added. "I took me a while to learn, so I'd rather stick with what I know."

Ward indicated that he would start out at as an inside receiver and compete to win the starting H-receiver position, which was vacated due to the graduation of senior Eric Morris.

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