In the world of football recruiting, there is often a surprise or two in store for virtually every school on an annual basis. For Arizona, one of the more unexpected landings from the 2012 recruiting class has been 6-foot-2, 205-pound outside linebacker Dakota Conwell from Pittsburgh (Penn.) Upper Saint Clair.
The athletic linebacker was originally committed to play ball for the Pittsburgh Panthers, but after head coach Todd Graham bolted to take the Arizona State job, Conwell decided to take a look around one last time. That's when he ventured to Tucson for an official visit and he was sold on being a Wildcat shortly thereafter.
"Coach Gibson contacted me and told me they were offering me," Conwell said. "I did some research and had a feeling it would be a good opportunity right when I stepped on campus. "
Conwell already had an established relationship with Gibson and several other staff members that came over from Pitt. The linebacker's relationship with Gibson has remained solid and he has even familiarized himself with the coaches he didn't previously know.
"It's been good," Conwell said. "I got to meet some of the other coaches that I didn't know as well. I think they're a good staff. I knew coach Gibson and a few of them throughout my whole recruiting process, so it's really good."
Conwell had been committed to Pitt since last July, so when Arizona came calling, it was really just between those two schools. The biggest selling point for Conwell was Arizona's lack of depth at linebacker.
"It was really between just Arizona and Pitt," Conwell said. "The biggest difference was the opportunity to play. It was better at Arizona than it was at Pitt and I like the school and atmosphere."
Conwell has set some high goals for his time at Arizona. Early on he just wants a chance to contribute and see the field, but by the time his college career is over, he would like to be a contributor to UA's first ever Rose Bowl appearance and victory.
"Individually I would like to play as a freshman and contribute on the team," Conwell said. "The team goal would be to win the Rose Bowl."
Relationships lead Conwell to Arizona
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