Thursday, February 4, 2010
Pac-10 recruiting wrap: Arizona
By Ted Miller
Arizona needed help on defense, and Mike Stoops thinks his class of 23 addressed that need, with 12 signees listed as playing on that side of the ball.
Top prospects: Defensive tackle Kirifi Taula and safety Marquis Flowers are freshmen who could immediately play their way into the rotation. Junior college transfers Paul Vassallo, Willie Mobley and Derek Earls could play their way into starting jobs.
Under the radar: Stoops said he believes receiver Garic Wharton is the fastest incoming freshman in the nation. Cornerback Jonathan McKnight is USC running back Joe McKnight's little brother.
Issues? For those who care about recruiting rankings, this is not a highly rated class, though it's notable that two teams that finished tied for second in the Pac-10 -- the Wildcats and Oregon State -- finished toward the bottom of the rankings. While Stoops aggressively advocated for quarterback Cameron Allerheiligen, the late decommitment of Matt Brown, who signed with TCU when Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes left for Louisiana Tech, hurt the class.
Notes: The class includes players from nine different states ... Stoops said height was a new emphasis -- he wants a taller, longer team ... The class includes five linemen on both sides of the ball ... Stoops said when he was recruiting McKnight, he tried to call his older brother, Joe. But he had the wrong number -- he was calling Jonathan ... Receiver Dan Buckner, a transfer from Texas, must sit out in 2010.