Ward on Watch List
Tuesday, April 7, 3:00 p.m. PT
It's spring football season, which also means it's the start of watch list season, as in players put under consideration for individual college football awards in 2009.The first UO player to be "listed" is senior safety T.J. Ward, who is one of eight Pac-10 players (42 overall) on the initial Lott Trophy preseason ledger.
The award is given annually to college football's defensive IMPACT player of the year as selected by the Pacific Club. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Ward was Oregon's leading tackler in '08 with 101 stops and also led the Ducks with four forced fumbles. Two of those FFs came at Cal, where the joke in the press box was that UO's best offensive combination that day was Ward to defensive end Nick Reed, who recovered the pair of cough drops (not that either team was moving the ball with any consistency while playing in a monsoon). Reed, coincidentally was the Ducks' representative on last year's Lott list and ended up being a semifinalist for the trophy.
T.J. Ward is one of the hardest hitters in the Pac-10.
It's an off-day from a helmet and pads standpoint, although the players lifted, conditioned and went through their normal meeting schedules with coaches. The Ducks will get back to on-field spring practice action Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
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