La Habra (Calif.) 2016 linebacker Jacob Colacion had an idea for quite awhile that he wanted to be an Arizona Wildcat and the reasons were clear.
“The staff wanted me to commit early, so I could kind of be one of the cornerstones of the class and I think Coach Casteel thought I could run early,” Colacion said.
“I think it helped that I’m from Southern California because they told me they want to be all over the area.”
Nevertheless Colacion committed to a program, not a specific coach.
“Even though he isn’t here anymore I really liked Coach Casteel, and I liked the kind of defense they ran," Colacion said.
"It was kind of a bummer that he was let go, but Coach Rodriguez let me know that they still really wanted me and even with the knee injury things haven’t changed."
Colacion also sees an opportunity to play early.
"They think I can come in and compete," he said. "There are a lot of open spots in the defense and they think I can play early at linebacker, but it’s still a hybrid defense where players can play all over the field, and that worked for me.”
The three-star linebacker's optimism about the coming season hasn’t dimmed at all.
“I’m not at all worried about the defense," Colacion said. "Coach Yates has a really good resume and he’s going to have a lot of guys on the back end playing.
“It’s going to be a new experience for sure and I’m looking forward to getting to know the coaches even better and hopefully I will be ready contribute as soon as I get there.
"I have a feeling we’re going to surprise some people next season and hopefully this freshman class can make a quick impact.”