Lopez excited to join 2011 class

With Arizona losing two more linebackers in the off season, adding at least one was a must. Now, Arizona has added a player that many feel was overlooked.

With injuries and transfers piling up for the Arizona linebacking core, UA had an urgent need to bring in another player in the class of 2011 for depth. It reached into the junior college ranks and found Cerritos College linebacker David Lopez, who chose the Wildcats over offers from Liberty, San Jose State, and Portland State.

"I'm honored to be a Wildcat," Lopez said. "It's always been my dream to play in the Pac-12. My former teammates at Cerritos played at Arizona, Mike Diaz and Phillip Garcia, and they told me it's a great experience and something to live for. I want to be apart of that experience."

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior-to-be, who also had interest but not offers from USC, Oregon, and Oregon State, has been in direct contact with defensive coordinator Tim Kish, and the two have developed a good relationship over a short period of time.

"Coach Kish was recruiting me," Lopez said. "He's a really smart guy, I hope to learn a lot from him. He seems really nice and I'm going to give 110 percent for the program and him. He seems like a good guy, very well spoken. He believes in me, which matters a lot. I hope he teaches me a lot and helps me out to be the best I can be."

With the lack of depth surrounding Kish's linebackers, Lopez is well aware that he'll have to come in from the get go ready to play; which is something he believes he'll be prepared to do.

"He expects me to come in right away and help the team and get some playing time," Lopez said. "He told me the linebackers are a little bit injured right now, so he expects me to come in and play right away.

"I played three years at junior college and I was a First Team All-American and I played against a lot of D-I prospects, so I think I'm ready."

Now officially a member of the Arizona football team for the 2011 season, Lopez is ready to get his Pac-12 career started.

"I'll be there by the last week of June," Lopez said. "I'm excited to get down there. If it were up to me, I would fly in today."

Upon arrival in Tucson, Lopez will bring a style of play that the fans, and his coaches, are sure to love.

"I'm relentless," Lopez said. "As soon as I step on the field, it becomes mine. Offenses are going to have to pay for every yard. I'm a run-stopper, I like to defend the run."

With a perfect mindset for a linebacker, Lopez hopes that he can make an impact on next year's team on the defensive side of the ball.

"I think I can help out the team a lot," Lopez said. "Hopefully I'll get some key plays in there and hopefully get a Pac-12 title.

"I'm expecting to prove myself, to play well, finish through on every play and be the best linebacker I can be. I want to bond with my teammates most importantly; and on the field I'd like to be on of the top five leading tacklers on the team."

Wildcat Authority Top Stories