Saline (Mich.) tight end Bryce Wolma committed to Northwestern early in the recruiting process but quickly realized his change of heart for Arizona from both a football and academic standpoint.
"I’ve been down to Arizona before the recruiting process even began and I loved it," Wolma said. "I wasn’t really ready to make an adequate decision when I committed to Northwestern.
"I wasn’t at that point in the recruiting process and I eventually got there. Arizona was always kind of home for me and I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
While several commits in the 2017 class share a close bond with each other, Wolma's relationship with one particular player has made all the difference.
"Rhett Rodriguez definitely means a lot to me," he said. "We’ve been best friends since fifth grade when he moved to Michigan.
"We were on the same middle school team and when he moved out to Arizona we stayed in touch and maintained that great friendship. Of course having Rhett there is a bonus and all that, but I love the University of Arizona and the football program.
"That’s really the main reason I picked there regardless of Rhett or being there or not, but it's definitely a huge benefit for me to have one of my best friends on the team.
"I also think a big key to success not only in football teams but in life is strong relationships. The people that you’re with and the people that are around you have to share a common goal and I think every one of our guys in this class shares that.”
Wolma has proven himself as a versatile tight end with the ability to block and work short and immediate areas while still splitting out downfield. That versatility has been crucial to the coaching staff’s offensive approach.
"They plan on using me as a hybrid tight end that splits out," Wolma said. "I’m going to be more like a route runner and catch the ball type of guy. Coach Ragle and Coach Rod have both told me that they haven’t quite had the personnel in years past that can run something like that.
"They’ve wanted to get my position group more involved offensively and when you look at someone like Trevor Wood who has gotten healthy it makes sense to me that the coaches plan on using the tight ends in a bunch of different scenarios.
"That’s going to help me progress a lot as a player and I know that I will have a solid role.”
Given Arizona's significant struggles the past two seasons, Wolma is determined to make an immediate as a player and compete at the highest level possible.
"I think that at a place like Arizona where they obviously did struggle last year gives me and the other guys in our class an opportunity to create our own legacy," he said. "Not too long ago Arizona was playing the Pac-12 Championship game against Oregon so I don’t think winning at a high level is that out of reach. I really think our class can get the team back to that level.”