2014 recruit watch: Jaime Nared

Jaime Nared (USA Basketball photo)

The Oregon to Tennessee trail remains open as the Lady Vols continue to recruit top players from the West Coast. Jaime Nared is the latest Oregonian that the coaching staff wants to wear orange. Go inside for an interview with the athletic wing.

Jaime Nared hails from Portland, Ore., the same hometown as Jordan Reynolds, a freshman guard for Tennessee this season. Mercedes Russell, a freshman post for the Lady Vols, is from Springfield, Ore.

"I've known Jordan since fourth grade and Mercedes since sophomore year when she came to play with the same AAU team that Jordan and I were on," Nared said in an interview with InsideTennessee.

Nared will get to see her friends when she makes an official visit to Tennessee on Sept. 26-29. Her parents will also make the trip to Knoxville.

Tennessee is among six schools seeking to get Nared's signature on an LOI in November. The other five are Ohio State, UCLA, Louisville, Oregon State and Southern Cal.

Nared intends to make her decision this fall and ink her letter of intent during the early signing period in November.

"I don't really have a timetable (for the decision), but I am definitely doing it before season starts," Nared said. "I want to get it over with. After I take visits I am hoping I know exactly. I will pray about everything.

"I am not waiting the whole high school season. I want to get it over with."

Nared intends to take her official visits because she knows the recruiting process, so far, has consisted of coaches selling their programs. She wants to see the schools for herself.

"I think just getting to know the coaches and going there," Nared said when asked about important factors in her decision. "In this process coaches are telling you everything you want to hear about the school and about everything basically, so I think just seeing it for myself and really feeling like that's going to be my new home for the next four years."

Three of Nared's six finalists are in the western region of the United States. The other three are in the Midwest and South. Nared isn't concerned about proximity to home.

"It will be no problem with distance," Nared said. "My mom said something about she wanted me to stay home, but I don't have a problem with distance. I think that the farther away the better. It's going to be hard but I can get used to that."

Nared's parents, Reiko Mia Williams and Greg Nared, have been instrumental in helping her throughout the recruiting process. Greg Nared has an extensive background in sports, including coaching and consulting experience and working for a sports agency.

"He knows the ins and outs of what coaches are going to say," Nared said. "He is really just supporting me and letting me make the decision. He is helping me out so much as far as talking to coaches, my mom as well, and getting to know all the details.

"They made a book for me about the schools. They have been the biggest help. They are supporting me."

Nared can also contact Reynolds and Russell if she needs any guidance or has any questions about Tennessee.

"It's cool having them," she said. "It would definitely be a plus."

Nared and Reynolds have been friends since Nared was in fourth grade – Reynolds, a year older, was in fifth grade – but Reynolds is allowing Nared to make her own decision.

"We haven't talked about it that much," Nared said. "She of course said she loved it. She has really enjoyed her time. She knows I am going to make the decision, but she is telling me how great it is. She is not really steering me in any way."

Nared is polite and engaging to interview and she speaks the words of a team player. She is likely to play on the wing in college but could also post up inside.

"Probably a two-three, or I can do some four," Nared said. "It is basically wherever the coaches need me. If you need me at the one, I'll play the one. If you need me at the five, I'll play the five. I'll play two, three, four."

When asked what areas of her game needed to be improved, Nared said all of it.

"I would say I have to work on everything basically, but I am a very physical player," she said. "I take pride in my defense."

Nared's maturity is apparent with an expansive answer when asked if the right fit was the key to her decision.

"Just getting a real feel of the school itself, the academics as well," said Nared, who intends to study sports broadcasting or communications. "That is why getting on campus is so important. I think if you work hard in college everything else will take care of itself. I think kids my age, we think we work hard but once you get to college it's a different ballgame.

"As far as college and fitting in, I think visiting and really getting the vibe of the team and the coaches. See if they really will care about you if something happens, say an injury or anything, that they'll still support you and what you want to do."

Nared's interest in Tennessee preceded the recruitment of Reynolds by several years. She has long been familiar with Holly Warlick and Dean Lockwood, and she has talked quite a bit with Kyra Elzy.

"I've liked the coaching staff for so long," Nared said. "They've been recruiting me for as long as anybody. They're great people. I love coach Holly. I love all the assistants. And who doesn't want to be in Tennessee? I know the Rocky Top song. Just growing up I've seen the winning tradition and I want to be a winner in college. There is no question about that."

Nared is doing her due diligence when it comes to her decision by taking her visits, but she is also ready for recruiting to end.

"I have my moments where I am so over it, but it is absolutely a blessing so it's not something you can really get mad at it," Nared said.

"It gets a little stressful at times, but it is not something you can control. You have to be blessed any way you think about it. I feel blessed."

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