Recruiting round-up, 12-11

Recruiting is picking up for the Wildcats. Although they have just three coaches on the staff, the Cats are pounding the pavement, trying to preach the word of Wildcat football. They are establishing contacts in the west, while renewing contacts in Texas. Here is a re-cap of what has been learned the past few days.

Head Coach Mike Stoops has been on the road all week stopping in Phoenix and Southern California. Stoops did take time out on Wednesday to guest on the Jim Rome show. He's been working hard to get players to visit and seems to be making a good impact on coaches and recruit.

Assistants Mark Stoops and Eric Wolford have been recruiting hard as well. They have already lined up some in-home visits that could pay immediate dividends. Wolford has great JC contacts and expect him to try and get a number of JC players to make visits before the dead period begins. Arizona would love to add a number of JUCO's at the semester.

One player the Cats seem to be going hard after is TE/DE Tate Casey from Longview, TX. Casey is further proof that the Wildcats are going after better prospects. He's listed as the sixth best tight end in the nation by TheInsiders and can play defensive end as well.

Casey will likely visit Arizona this weekend after originally planning on visiting Miami.

"It's weird because whenever Coach (Mark) Stoops left Miami for Arizona, I stopped hearing from them," Casey said. "I was getting pretty interested in them and I still would be if they started calling again but I guess they're doing well with other tight ends. They have a kid already committed and I know they're involved with the kid from Arizona. But hey, that's the No. 1 tight end factory in the country so they should do well."

That "kid from Arizona" is Zach Miller. Miller was looking seriously at Oklahoma, but don't expect the Cats to make up any ground, even with coach Stoops on board.

Although Miller may not be in the picture, fellow Phoenix TE Andrew Pettes seems to be getting a lot of recent attention.

Vista, CA LB Russell Allen was supposed to visit this weekend but he will reschedule as his team has a playoff game.

"I think Coach Stoops is exactly what Arizona needed," Allen confessed. "He seems like a perfect fit and I hope to hear from him soon."

Like Allen, big lineman Norris Malele from Carson, CA has rescheduled due to a playoff game. Malele likes Cal a lot, but the new Wildcat coaches have made an impact.

"Coach Mike and Mark Stoops called me and they seem cool," Malele said. "They have a great background and I think they'll do well. Mark Stoops will be visiting me next week." Scottsdale Chaparral's Darren Mougey is hearing more and more from the Wildcats. He passed for over 2200 yds and 32 TDs with only 2 picks and is gaining more and more attention. He was scheduled to visit this weekend but it appears that he will reschedule for January when the Wildcats have the entire offensive staff in place. We've also heard that Phoenix's John Peel has rescheduled for the exact same reason. Peel loves the Wildcats and could pull the trigger when he visits.

Another Phoenix player the Cats are eyeing is B.J. Dennard of Brophy. We've heard that the Wildcats really like him. He'll visit in January. He has expressed interest in playing with teammate Uriah Marshall, so keep an eye out to see if the Wildcats pick up the pace on Marshall to land the tandem known as "Peanut Butter and Jelly".

One of San Antonio's top linemen has been hearing more from Arizona. Yaniv Barnett is a 6-3, 285-pound defensive tackle from Samuel Clemens HS in the San Antonio is favoring Kansas but he has recently become more interested in Arizona and is expecting assistant Mark Stoops to visit him on Thursday.

Jovon O'Connor, a big lineman from Los Angeles committed to Washington and appears to no longer be interested in Arizona.

Sean Lobo, an OL from Arlington, TX, was originally supposed to visit last weekend, but now will be rescheduled. Lobo, a one-star recruit, may be held off until the staff sees how the OL situation shapes up. As of now he is being recruited by the likes of Baylor, SMU and Louisiana-Lafayette, not exactly a who's-who of college programs.

Stoops indicated that he would contact players who have already verballed in an effort to see if they have any renewed interest now that a new staff is in place. Two players they may have contacted are QB C.J. Bacher and Salpointe OL John Kadous. Bacher's father was not happy that reports have his son looking around but did state that "they will let their intentions be known on Feb. 5th". Kadous, a Notre Dame verbal, did not seem to want to talk to reporters. Whether this means that they have any new interest in Arizona remains to be seen. One player Coach Stoops met with was Antoine Cason, a CB from Los Alamitos. They are also making another run at Terrail Lambert, a top CB prospect from powerhouse St. Bonaventure in Ventura, CA.

Compiled by Brad Allis

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