Signing Day Awards

Signing day is officially over and now it is time for to hand out its awards. Read on to see who we think the best offensive, defense, and most underrated players are.

Best Offensive Player

Jason Nimrichter: Javelle Allen: The dual threat quarterback has the tools to replicate what previous players have done at the position under Rich Rodriguez. His film indicates he can make throws on the run accurately, and make opposing defenses pay on the ground. It will likely not be until 2013 that Allen will be given the opportunity to make an impact, but if he is able to learn Rodriguez's offense quickly, he could excel early in his career.

Blake Keathley: Javelle Allen: The Pat White comparisons are certainly warranted, and I think Rich Rodriguez and Arizona fans would be absolutely thrilled if Allen developed into the second coming of Pat White. He's regarded as one of many sleeper prospects in the class of 2012 and it is well accepted that Arizona got a prospect that may far surpass his ranking.

Allen is the ideal fit for Rodriguez's spread option attack and is already pretty solid throwing the ball as well. Arizona fans are excited about what Allen is bringing to the table and with the quickness, elusiveness, arm strength and leadership skills, they have every reason to be.

Jason Scheer: This is not necessarily about the best pure offensive player, but rather the player that is most likely to succeed in Rodriguez's system. For me, Clive Georges is a player that can be fantastic in this offense. He is getting better and has not played football a ton, so there is room for growth.

In addition, Georges played the same offense in high school and will not have the learning curve that others will. It would not be a surprise to see Georges play right away due in large part to his speed that can be used off the edge.

Best Defensive Player

Jason Nimrichter: Dylan Cozens: The Chaparral product has a nose for the quarterback and has the motor to get in the opposing backfield quickly. Defensive end is a thin position right now for the Wildcats and there could be an opportunity for Cozens to contribute early. He is the type of pass-rusher Jeff Casteel needs in his defense. If he learns quickly and can adapt to the speed of the college game, Cozens could end up being a great player by the end of his tenure in college.

Blake Keathley: Leo Thomas: On Signing Day, Thomas said that he wants to be one of the best defensive backs in Arizona history, and with some coaching from David Lockwood, Jeff Casteel, and Tony Gibson, I think he has a chance to be a special player in UA's new defensive scheme.

The San Antonio prospect is a ball-hawk who has great instincts and is versatile enough to play safety or corner. Thomas is a very instinctual player who is going to have a chance to come in and earn early playing time, and with a stength and conditioning program as well as some refining in his technique, he has a chance to reach his goal of becoming an Arizona legend over his four year career.

Jason Scheer: This is a tough one because I think Cozens and Conwell have a ton of potential. However, C.J. Dozier gets this award from me because he is going to have a head start and is good enough to begin with. Dozier already has good strength and size and with an improvement in speed, will be a legitimate linebacker.

Dozier would have likely had more offers if he was not going to enroll early, but his father said he took a more relaxed approach to the recruiting process. It would not surprise me at all if Dozier plays a ton right away and has a major impact doing it.

Most likely to contribute right away

Jason Nimrichter: Cozens: With the position virtually being wide open in a new system, Cozens could fight his way not only into playing time, but a starting job by the end of his freshman year. He will compete with Reggie Gilbert, Dame Ndiaye, Dan Pettinato and fellow freshman Kyle Kelley for playing time right away.

Blake Keathley: Dakota Conwell: This one may seem as a no-brainer since Conwell is Arizona's highest ranked prospect in the entire class, but this one is a combination of necessity and skill level. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound has the size, quickness, and range to be an ideal fit for the 3-3-5 and will be effective in both rush and pass defense. With only a handful of linebackers on scholarship, Conwell is going to come in right away compete for playing time as a true freshman due to his being an ideal fit for the 3-3-5.

Jason Scheer: I said that Dozier is the best defensive player in the class and considering how badly the Wildcats need linebackers, it makes sense to give him this one too. Dozier is already going to be in the weight room, so physically he will be able to play right away.

In addition, he will be learning the playbook, which will give him an advantage over the incoming freshmen. I would be pretty surprised if Dozier did not make an impact much sooner than later.

Most Underrated

Jason Nimrichter: Jarrell Bennett: The shifty wideout from New Orleans could be a great fit in Rodriguez's offense. He is about the size of former Arizona star receiver Mike Thomas and plays a very similar game. Bennett is also a strong blocker even for his small frame. His all-around skill-set should serve him well in Rodriguez's offense.

Blake Keathley: Kyle Kelley: I think most people are going to go with Dylan Cozens, so I'm going with the player that will line up opposite of him along the defensive line for the next four years. It's baffling to me that despite racking up 41 sacks in two seasons and earning Parade All-American honors, Kelley is considered the nation's 42nd best defensive end.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound future Wildcat is soft spoken off the field but on it he's relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback with his endless motor and strength. I wouldn't be surprised to see Kelley moved to outside linebacker before it's all said and done, but for now he'll take his motor and pass rushing prowess and team up with Cozens to harass quarterbacks in the Pac-12 for years to come.

Jason Scheer: J.T. Washington: Washington is a two-star running back, but he is the small type of back that will fit in well with Rodriguez's system. Washington likely will never dominate carries because of Ka'Deem Carey, but he will certainly get touches. Rodriguez does a great job of putting the ball in the hands of his biggest weapons and you get the feeling that Washington could be one of them.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories