UCLA Matt is an outstanding athlete who saw action on both sides of the ball his first two years in the program He possesses all of the tools to become a great player He has great athleticism, size and speed and is a tough and intelligent player A versatile performer, he started all 11 games at cornerback in 2001, becoming the first Bruin true freshman to start every game of a season He made a switch to free safety during Spring Practice in 2002 Ware started all 13 games in 2002, the final 10 at cornerback after an in-season switch back from free safety Plays pro baseball in the Seattle Mariner organization during the summers.
2002 Ware started all 13 games, including the first three at free safety and the last 10 at cornerback Finished fifth on the team with 51 tackles and made one interception and one quarterback sack He also blocked one punt and forced two fumbles Member of the punt return, punt, field goal block, kickoff and kickoff return units on special teams during the season Made four solo tackles and had one pass defense against Colorado State Had an interception against Oklahoma State in the end zone to stop a Cowboy drive near the end of the first half Missed most of the second half with a sprained ankle Ranked second on the team with a career-high 10 tackles in the game against Colorado Moved to cornerback for the San Diego State game Helped limit the nations No. 2 passing attack to just 208 yards in the air The Aztecs had just one pass of more than 22 yards Ware had seven tackles in the game and one sack Credited with three tackles at Oregon State and one pass defense Against Oregon, he made three tackles, including one for loss, and one forced fumble At Cal, he made one tackle and also was credited with the second of UCLAs two fourth-quarter blocked punts Also played one snap on offense at Cal, pitching the ball on an option play Against Stanford, he made five tackles Missed most of the Washington game with a tight hamstring and was credited with one tackle At Arizona, he made two solo tackles and deflected one pass Against USC, he made six tackles, one shy of the team lead, despite missing the second half with hamstring problems Totaled four tackles in the Washington State game with two solos Credited with three tackles, one forced fumble and one pass defense in the bowl game win over New Mexico.
2001 The only true freshman in the starting lineup, Ware improved each week and was a Pac-10 honorable mention selection He was also named first-team Freshman All-American and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News and first-team All-American by the Football Writers Assn. of America Ware was the first UCLA true freshman to start every regular-season game since freshmen became eligible in 1972 (three-time All-America safety Kenny Easley started the final 10 games of his freshman season and Ricky Manning started the final nine) On the year, Ware made 32 tackles, led the team with five interceptions (tied for third in the Pac-10) and was second with two fumble recoveries His five interceptions were the most by a Bruin since Larry Atkins made six in 1997 and he ranked third (tied) in the Pac-10 with his average of 0.45 He started all 11 games at cornerback He also saw five plays of action on offense against Oregon and took two snaps versus USC He made his first career interception versus Ohio State In the win at Oregon State, he was credited with five tackles Against Washington, matched up against Reggie Williams much of the game, he was credited with three tackles (two solos), recovered a fumble, made an interception in the end zone to halt a scoring threat and had one pass defense In the win over California, he made two tackles (one solo), including one for loss before leaving the contest with a sprained left ankle He was at his best in the game at Stanford, making two interceptions, recovering a fumble and making three tackles At Washington State, he made his fifth interception of the year and also made five tackles (three solos) Against Oregon, he made five tackles, including four solos In addition, he saw action on offense for the first time in his collegiate career, playing a handful of snaps at quarterback and receiver He rushed for 22 yards on four attempts, including UCLAs long run of the day (11 yards), as an option quarterback and also made a 49-yard reception along the right sideline late in the first half At USC, despite suffering a separated shoulder in the first half, Ware made three solo tackles and was also credited with a pass defense He also played a couple of offensive snaps, but pitched the football Against Arizona State, he made two first-half tackles but missed the second half after aggravating a shoulder injury Named the winner of the John Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Award for Rookie of the Year He signed a baseball contract with the Seattle Mariners during Fall football camp and played in their minor league organization this past summer as an outfielder.
HIGH SCHOOL Earned three varsity letters at quarterback and free safety at Los Angeles Loyola High for coach Grady USA Today first-team All-American Parade All-American Member of PrepStar Dream Team (No. 1 defensive back) PrepStar All-American (No. 1 athlete in West) Member of SuperPrep Elite 50 (No. 8 overall) and SuperPrep All-American (No. 1 defensive back) Rated nations No. 1 safety by FoxStudentSports.com SuperPrep All-Far West/California (No. 2 prospect) PrepStar Super 30 All-Western Region (No. 1 prospect) Member of Rivals.com 11-man Defensive All-American team Member of Rivals 100 (No. 7 prospect) Rated nations No. 2 safety by Rivals.com Member of Rivals.com Top 100 Student Sports Top 100 (No. 4 prospect) Tom Lemming All-American (No. 32 prospect) and All-West (No. 6 prospect) Member of Lemming Super Team Rated nations No. 8 prospect by cnnsi.com/SuperPrep and No. 4 defensive back USA Today/Max Emfinger Top 125 and No. 1 free safety Member of Dallas Morning News Top 100 Student Sports Senior All-American Member of Long Beach Press-Telegrams Best in the West (eight votes) First-team All-State (Cal-Hi Sports) Las Vegas Sun Super 11 first team All-CIF Southern Section first team CIF-SS Division I Player of the Year Named L.A. Times All-Central City Player of the Year and All-Central City as a quarterback Selected to play in CaliFlorida All-Star game, the California/ Texas All-Star game and the National Shrine game in Texas As a senior, Ware made 32 solo tackles, 27 assists and four interceptions to bring his career totals to 134 tackles, 88 assists and eight interceptions Also caused six fumbles and made 17 tackles for losses during his career On offense, he ran for 1,161 yards and 17 touchdowns and passed for over 1,000 yards and 16 more scores Pre-season SuperPrep Top 50 Pre-season SuperPrep All-American (No. 4 defensive back nationally and No. 3 prospect in Far West) As a junior, he made 84 tackles, including four for losses, and one interception On offense, he passed for 786 yards and five touchdowns, rushed for 346 yards and three touchdowns and made 11 receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns Also participated in track Earned two letters for coach Wells Had bests in the long jump (23-10), 100 meters (10.78) and 200 meters (21.9) Helped school win the CIF-SS Division III title in 2000 in the long jump, in the 100 meters and as a member of the 4 x 100 relay team Was a member of the baseball team and played for coach Possemato.
PERSONAL Full Name: Matthew Jesse Ware Born: December 2, 1982 in Santa Monica, CA Parents: Bernard and Julie Ware Has one brother, Aaron Mom and dad each attended UCLA Lists his biggest athletic thrill as playing in the CIF Division I championship game against Long Beach Poly in December of 2000 at Edison Field in Anaheim, CA Names San Diego Charger linebacker Donnie Edwards, a former Bruin, as the athlete he admires most and patterns his style of play after Hobbies include making illustrations and hanging out with friends Lists Physics as his favorite class Lists career objective as becoming a physical therapist or trainer Undeclared major.
Varsity Statistics - M. Ware
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