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June 11, 2009

Wade Climbs his Way Back

Yesterday in Beaverton we hooked back up with one of the most intriguing young athletes to come out of Portland in years. His story highly publicized. Opinions range from one end of the spectrum to the other. Speculation and Rumors abound. Between the online chat ways and the misinformed coaches and fans lies the real story of Myles Wade. Oregon's top recruit in 2007 he remains an enigma for many. His interesting and at times gut wrenching journey to live out his dream is taking a turn for the better.

Friday Myles will do something that many people and certainly many top rated schools felt he could not do. Myles will graduate from Portland Community College with an Associate Degree. This will have him ready to go and on his way in three weeks to Lubbock, Texas where he will join Coach Mike Leech and the Red Raiders as they prepare for another season aimed at making a BCS Bowl return. Texas Tech was the first school to believe in Wade when his relationship with the Oregon Ducks broke down last October. At 325 pounds and in great shape Wade has to be one of the most physically gifted athletes in the country. Yesterday he lifted, ran, and jumped at Coach Mark McGlaughlin's Performance Training Center (PTC) in Beaverton. As we watched Myles ran 10 yard sprints on electronic timers that projected a 5.12 40 time. He jumped on 42" Plyometirc Boxes and showed great agility. He also lifted 33 reps on 225 pounds, 16 at 315 and he repped 405 pounds for us. It is hard to see why any college would not want him. USC, Nebraska, Auburn, Washington, and Texas Tech jumped in last January and February and all wanted the big Defensive Tackle.

But it was the Oregon Ducks who had him as their top recruit that year. It was the Oregon Ducks who believed in him and who convinced him out of High School to sign with them. For those that don't remember or know the story Wade failed to score a high enough core GPA to make it in 2007. So at the Ducks request he went to Arizona Western JC in Yuma. He was a second team All American in 2007.He earned 37 credits while there. In 2008 he and the Ducks mutually agreed on the fact that he should spend 2008 off the field and lock down his academics. So he returned to Portland in Summer of 2008 and enrolled at PCC.

About that same time Myles Mother, Lori Wade, fell victim to a brain tumor. While Myles fought his academic battle she and his family fought her cancer. Myles attended Summer session in 2008 and buckled down. Lori and his father Jerry made dozens of trips up and down I-5 to the U of W in pursuit of a cure to stop the tumor. The family was in lock down and it took its toll. To add to the complications Myles was told that many of his credits at Arizona Western were not transferable to Oregon. This made his return to the Division 1 an unlikely prospect. Myles would have to take and pass about 2 years of curriculum in a years time. While he attempted this by carrying 18-24 Credits per term his mothers condition worsened.

The winter of 2008 was a bitter one for the Wade family. Myles effectively was let go by the Ducks from the standpoint that communication stopped and by all accounts they were not going to put much stock in the fact he was going to make it. By November Myles was officially de-commited from Oregon and without a school. Lori's condition got worse and before Christmas came she was gone. Just when things looked like they could not get any worse a coach threw him a lifeline. Mike Leach heard about Wade and looked up some Video on him online. He was on the first plane out to Portland. The Red Raiders offered him and in so many ways believed in him. Having someone believe in you is sometimes all you need. That offer drove other offers but Myles and his family will never forget that emotional moment in January where he embraced his new coaches and said "I am coming to Lubbock,".

That propelled Wade forward. Trying to suppress the waves of emotion from his mothers death he poured himself into school and in the past six months has powered through a years worth of curriculum. When USC, Nebraska, Washington, and Auburn wanted in it was too late. His heart was in Texas now. And so from the darkness of despair and unbelieving coaches and fans and even the darkness of self doubt and at times self pity rises the new Myles Wade. Seeing him yesterday at 19 was truly special. Emotionally, Physically, and Spiritually Wade seems ready to face a future that was so highly anticipated out of high school. While there still remain doubters and people who will want to cast unfounded opinions the fact remains that Myles has proved them all wrong. His road to Lubbock is an open one and the toll has been paid ten-fold. All he has to do now is finish one test and collect his shingle.

Football might have carried him to the top and than to the bottom. But Myles Wade has brought himself back and will carry himself wherever he goes from here on out. Best of luck to him throughout his life. Congratulations Myles!



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