Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
NLR's Ware commits to Oregon
North Little Rock’s Kel’el Ware hangs on the rim after a dunk during the fourth quarter of the Charging Wildcats’ 65-55 victory over Little Rock Central in the Class 6A championship Thursday at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs.
North Little Rock center Kel’el Ware has committed to Oregon.
Ware, 7-0, 221 pounds, picked the Ducks over Arkansas, Baylor, Auburn, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Florida, Texas, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and other programs. He made official visits to Arkansas and Oregon and unofficial visits to Ole Miss and Memphis.
He connected with Ducks coach Dana Altman, who hired former Razorbacks assistant Chris Crutchfield in April.
“When I went down there I was surprised by the facility,” Ware said. “Like the coaching staff, they’ve been coaching with each other for over 10 years, so just being in the program where the coaches have been together for so long that will be great for me.
"I was able to see everything they had, and everything they have will help me get better.”
He averaged 16.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game as a junior and was named second team Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas Prep. Ware led his team to the Class 6A state title game after finishing with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. He was named MVP of the game.
Looking to experience life outside of the state was enticing to Ware.
“It was my dream to actually leave Arkansas and be great somewhere else but still be able to represent Arkansas as well,” Ware said.
ESPN rates Ware a 4-star recruit, the No. 13 center and No. 75 overall recruit in the nation for the 2022 class. He officially visited Fayetteville on June 1-3 and visited Oregon on June 14-16.
“After the visit I thought about it a little bit and I was like, ‘Yeah, this is where I want to be,’” Ware said of Oregon.
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