The 2011 class arrives on campus shortly and will get to work right away in preparation for the college football season. There is still a summer ahead of these student-athletes before they hit the field for the first game of the season, but most will strive extremely hard in hopes of seeing some immediate playing time.
There should chances for multiple newcomers as there has been a lot of roster fluctuation since the conclusion of the 2010 campaign. Nothing is a guarantee, of course, but here are the players most likely to make an impact in their first year on campus.
Rob Hankins, Hank Hobson, Domonique Petties
These three enter a situation where they may be needed much sooner rather than later. All three will have a shot at early playing time given the situation at linebacker and could make a pretty big impact on the field
Arizona did recently add David Lopez from the JUCO ranks to the linebacking corps, but even with his arrival, all three freshmen need to prepare to be thrown into action from the moment they arrive on campus.
Lamar De Rego
A big body that could cause some problems off the end for opposing quarterbacks, De Rego has the opportunity to make a big impact in 2011. There is a lack of depth at defensive end and De Rego is looking to fill the void. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, De Rego already matches the size of most defensive ends at the Pac-12 level. If he is able to make the adjustments to the increased level of play, De Rego could be a player Mike Stoops and his staff rely on frequently.
Ka'Deem Carey, Jared Baker
The injury to Greg Nwoko diminishes the depth at running back significantly. The only player at the position with plenty of game experience is Keola Antolin. Behind him are several talented, but unproven players that will need to impress in order to win the backup job.
Daniel Jenkins and Kylan Butler have been chomping at the bit to get on the field on a consistent basis, so the pair will be tough for the incoming freshmen to beat out. Carey's high school career was incredible and will go down as one of the best in Tucson high school football history. Baker ran successfully against some of the toughest competition in southern California.
Given the lack of experienced depth and the talent this pair brings, it wouldn't be surprising to see one (or possibly both) see the playing field on a regular basis.
While Alex Zendejas has the chance to retain his job, it's hard to imagine any school bringing in an All-American JUCO kicker on a scholarship without giving him a chance to win the starting duties when the incumbent has struggled frequently throughout his career.
A lot of eyes will be on Salazar during fall camp as the fan-base hopes the Wildcats are able to solve their kicking woes one way or another.
There wouldn't usually be much attention on a punter, but when Arizona went through a period of struggle with Keenyn Crier punting, it became a serious problem for the Wildcats. Arizona hopes Dugandzic is able to succeed where Crier could not. Crier struggled with accuracy and pinning the opposition inside their own 20 – two traits that are considered to be Dugandzic's strengths.
Punter is a position that gets overlooked when it's producing the way it should. It's when the shortcomings surface that people begin to put a magnifying glass on it and that's exactly what happened with Crier the previous two seasons. If Dugandzic can simply do a serviceable job, it will be an improvement for UA.
Which newcomers will make an impact?
Wildcat Authority Top Stories
Breakdown: Arizona vs. GonzagaArizona will travel to Los Angeles to face Gonzaga on Saturday. Read on to find out more about the game including statistics, a poritional breakdown, and a score prediction.
Wildcat AuthorityYesterday at 8:19 PM
Authority Report: Shareef O'Neal enjoys visitThis week's Authority Report discusses Shareef O'Neal's recent visit and more.
Wildcat AuthorityThursday at 9:19 PM
Authority Report: Wildcats trying to add sizeThis week's Authority Report discusses how Arizona is trying to upgrade its recruiting and more.
Wildcat AuthorityThursday at 9:36 AM
Video: Sean Miller on win, injuriesSean Miller discussed Wednesday's win and the impact of Parker Jackson-Cartwright's injury.
Wildcat AuthorityWednesday at 8:45 PM