Cats add TE/WR for the fall

When Arizona failed to sign a full 25-man recruiting class last February, Mike Stoops stated that it gave them some flexibility to add players later on if they found someone worthy of a scholarship. Apparently the staff did, because the Wildcats have added another player for the class of 2004 and they did not have to go far to find him.

Not too long ago Mike Stoops went out to watch the Pima Storm work out. The new Arizona coach was looking to see if any of the JC players caught his eye, and one did. Stoops was impressed with former Sabino wide receiver Brad Wood and soon found out that Wood was eligible to enroll in the fall. After a little more evaluation, Stoops soon convinced the 6-3, 215-pound player to become a Wildcat.

Wood went to Pima because he did not like the offers that he had coming out of Sabino last year. He chose to play for former Sabercat head coach Jeff Scurran and the move paid off.

"Things did not work out of high school," Wood said. "I did not like my options, so I chose to go to Pima."

He was a regular contributor for the program, playing alongside the likes of Brian Hare.

At Arizona he will have four years to play three seasons. This means that the Wildcats have some flexibility to redshirt him if need be.

"I didn't have grade problems, I just didn't like my options," Wood explained. "That's why I am able to transfer now. There were no grade predicaments in high school or anything like that."

Although the option to redshirt is there, Wood has a good shot to see the field. The Cats want to use him as both a receiver and a tight end. It is the tight end position that the Cats need the most help. Only two players with D-I experience are on the roster.

"They've mentioned trying to work me in and be an impact player," Wood said. "I see myself as a flexible receiver. They said that I could be a sort of a movable part. They want to use me on the line and then flank me out when the time comes."

While playing at a junior college wasn't his first choice, it could prove to be a nice transition. Instead of going right from high school to the big time, Wood had a chance to experience college football without getting thrown to the wolves.

"It kind of gets you up to speed, but I know I still have a ways to go," Wood said. "Just watching film you can tell it is much faster. Going from JC to D-I is still a whole new level."

Wood met Steve Spurrier Jr., the Wildcats' new tight ends coach on Tuesday and will begin working out with the team next week. He has learn a bit about the offense but is still waiting for a playbook and all the studying that will soon follow.

Wood is just the second local scholarship player on the team, joining Sahuaro's Tony Wingate. He will also be the first Pima player to suit up for the Wildcats. Last season the Wildcats signed Ryan Patterson and had Ray Gurley working out with the team, but neither qualified to play with the Wildcats.

For Wood everything worked out. His gamble of going to Pima led to a spot on the Wildcats and now he has a chance to be part of the rebuilding process at his hometown school. In many ways he was at the right place at the right time.

Photo courtesy of Pima College Football

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