Recruiting update:Stoops' first recruiting weekend

New Wildcat coach Mike Stoops hosted his first recruiting weekend. A number of players were on hand as Stoops was introduced to a raucous home basketball crowd. The incomplete coaching staff is working hard on the recruiting trail. Here is an update.

Arizona appears to have hosted a handful of recruits. Most were already committed to the school, but there were a few new faces taking a look.

Geoff Schwartz a big lineman from Pacific Palisades is one of the uncommitted players to make the visit. Schwartz is 6-7, 300 and is a three-star recruit. Schwartz is a good pass blocker. He had a very good visit, but is not ready to pull the trigger. He claims that Arizona and Oregon are still neck and neck.

This is the second visit for Schwartz. The big man was here in the preseason on an unofficial visit. He was at Oregon last weekend and is expected to visit UCLA next weekend.

Another uncommitted player is Vallejo, CA WR/DB Desmond Thomas. Thomas has the reputation as a big hitter on defense and a great jumper as a pass catcher.

The Cats also welcomed committed players Michael Klyce, Travis Bell, Chris Wilson and Jason Bondzio. Bell is the brother of Wildcat lineman Tanner Bell and was the first player to commit.

JC DB Kyle McDonald also visited.

Originally more players were due, but the Wildcats pushed back visits by QB Darren Mougey, WR John Peel and RB Brandon Jackson. Jackson has rescheduled for January 19th.

The recruits were treated to a fun weekend. They had a cookout in front of McKale on Friday. Unfortunately, the weather was on the chilly side, so they did not get to experience a typical Arizona December day.

On Saturday they were treated to the basketball game against Marquette. It was a great game and one of the loudest McKale Center crowds in recent memory.

At halftime Mike Stoops was introduced to the crowd and received a very loud standing ovation and more than a few chants of "Stoooooooooops". Stoops, decked out in a UA golf shirt and sweater vest, took the mic and addressed the crowd.

"We've never prepared for a game that we didn't think we would win," Stoops said. "That's the mindset we'll have next year. I've never faced a team that was more prepared than us and I can promise you that will be true for the Wildcats."

Among the players who served as recruiting hosts were Matt Padron, Peter Graniello Steve Fleming, Chris Henry, Cliff Stanford, Marcus Smith and Dane Krogstad.

Everything was not great for the team this weekend. It was originally supposed to host standout DT Norris Malele but he rescheduled as his team was competing in the Div 1 LA City League Championship. He was originally going to reschedule, but instead pulled the trigger and committed to Cal, where one cousin plays and another is a student.

"Coach Stoops from Arizona came by my school on Thursday to see me and we spoke and I told him how much I appreciated him recruiting me but that I was going to go to Cal," Malele told the Insiders. "Arizona was my No. 2 choice."

The Cats lost out on another lineman. Less heralded OL Ryan Wendell of Diamond Bar (Ca) committed to Fresno State. It's not nearly as big a loss as Malele. The Wildcats had not yet offered and he had been recently dropped by Colorado State.

New Mexico OL Dillon Hansen is visiting this weekend, but is a Texas Tech lean at this moment. He visited Lubbock and had a very good time. Arizona may need to make up a little ground. He's got nice size but is unheralded at this point. Texas Tech and Arizona are his best offers, but other schools could get involved if he does not verbal before the holidays.

Marty Tadman has long favored the Wildcats and still lists Arizona as his favorite. He is not quite ready to commit and may be waiting to see if an offer from USC materializes. The Trojans have said that they may offer Tadman if they can't land some other recruits.

"I've talked with coach Stoops and I really like him," says Tadman. "I'd like to get to know him a little more but Arizona is probably where I'll end up. They are definitely my leader."

Good sources have said that Arizona will announce a new wide receiver coach as soon as Monday. One rumor has South Carolina's Charlie Williams getting the job. Those reports could not be substantiated. We've also heard that last year's coach Mose Rison could be under consideration.

Arizona is definitely pursuing the JC ranks. They seem to be looking at linemen, linebackers and corners.

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