2004 Signing Day: Defensive Backs

The Cats' defensive backfield is a real mixed bag. At corner back the Wildcats are very thin, while they appear to be loaded at safety. Since defensive back is a Stoops family specialty, it should come as no surprise that the Cats were able to land some very nice DB prospects.


Starters Lost: (2) Gary Love, Michael Jolivette
Starters Returning: (0)
Others Lost: none
Others Returning: Michael Beach RS-Fr, Wilrey Fontenot RS-Fr, Jason Martin So, Luis Nunez Sr, Zeonte Sherman Sr

The Cats lose two starters and really lack depth and experience at corner back. It would not be a shock to see young players step in or even a safety or two convert to corner.

B.J. Dennard
CB/WR, 6-1, 175
Brophy Prep, Phoenix, AZ

Dennard is a talented athlete who can play either receiver of defensive back in college but will begin his career as a corner back. He's the nephew of former L.A Ram receiver Preston Dennard and his father and cousin played at Arizona State. He shunned the Sun Devils for the Wildcats after Mike Stoops was hired, before that he really wasn't considering the Wildcats.

2004 Role: He has said in past interviews that he expected to be a redshirt, but with Arizona's corner back situation immediate playing time is not out of the realm of possibility.

Quote: "I like to lay the wood."—B.J. Dennard

Kiel McDonald
CB, 6-1, 190
Sacramento JC, Sacramento, CA

One of the better junior college corner backs in California. McDonald is already enrolled at Arizona and will try to make an immediate impact. Good size and decent speed. A bit of a sleeper, but has a lot of ability.

2004 Role: McDonald will participate in spring ball and will have every opportunity to earn early playing time.

Quote: "We think he can come in and play."—Mike Stoops.

Antoine Cason
CB, 6-0, 165
Los Alamitos (California) HS

Cason is a good-sized cornerback who can cover and plays the run well. He's a very physical player who doesn't mind hitting. Comes from a power program in Southern California. Very good speed and quickness, Cason prides himself on his coverage skills. Scouts say he is equally effective against the run and the pass.

2004 Role: Like Dennard, Cason has a chance to shine very early. The staff is very high on him and the lack of returning starters makes this a wide-open battle.

Quote: "I'm a very physical corner. I'm very aggressive to the ball."—Antoine Cason


Starters Lost: (1) Clay Hardt
Starters Returning: (1) Darrell Brooks Jr
Others Lost: Lee Patterson
Others Returning: Marcus Hollingsworth So, Gary Shepard So, Tony Wingate Sr
Status Unknown: Lamon Means Jr*
*Means is awaiting sentencing for an off-field incident where he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

The Cats seem at first glance to be loaded at safety. The return Brooks and Means, while Hollingsworth and Shepard showed flashes of being very good players. While it looks good, the unit could be thinned out depending on how Means' court case goes and if Brooks has to return to corner back.

Dominic Patrick
S/LB 6-1, 200
Klein Forest HS, Houston, TX

Patrick was a high school line backer who should play safety at Arizona. Patrick has good speed and is a very good hitter. He's rated as one of the top-100 players in the Lone Star State. He joins two other Klein Forest teammates in the class. He chose Arizona over Arkansas, Kansas and Utah.

2004 Role: If Patrick can learn the safety position quickly, he could push older players. He reminds some of Lamon Means, another Houston player who played as a true freshman.

Quote: "I really like the coaches. I think I can really help build something there."—Dominic Patrick

Michael Klyce
S/LB, 6-1, 185
Locke HS, Los Angeles, CA
Unheralded recruit who turned the heads of the few coaches that saw him. Comes from a less prestigious program in Los Angeles, but those who took the time to watch Klyce have come away impressed. Was a high school linebacker but appears to be destined to be a college safety. Has good quickness and a love of hitting.

2004 Role: Klyce is kind of a mystery, so it is hard to say what his chances of playing time are. He gives the Wildcats another big, fast safety who likes to hit.

Quote: "I just love hitting and being aggressive. That is what I'm about."—Michael Klyce

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