JC defensive lineman commits

It has been several seasons since Arizona has had a full compliment of defensive linemen. Defensive tackle has especially been a weakness on the defense. Arizona made small strides in shoring up their defensive line with the commitment of defensive tackle Anthony Sapa.

Anthony Sapa is a 6-5 ½, 320-pound lineman from Riverside Community College. He's a May graduate and will join the team in the fall of 2005. He has a nice mix of size and quickness and should be able to come in right away and make a difference.

Sapa has long been interested in the Wildcats and when an offer came he jumped at the chance to join the program. "I always wanted to go to Arizona," Sapa said. "I have been waiting for the chance to do it. "I really like the coaches and I really liked the people I talked to. They convinced me that Arizona was the place for me."

Sapa actually played offensive line last season. They had a lot of depth at defense and when a key offensive starter went down, Sapa took the opportunity to help the team.

"They were looking for an offensive player from the defense and I was that kind of guy," Sapa said.

Sapa liked offensive line, but prefers defensive line. He says the Wildcats want him to play defensive tackle. Despite the fact that he will miss spring drills, he thinks he has a chance to come in and see immediate playing time.

"They told me that they need me really bad," said Sapa. "They said I could come in and have a chance to be on the starting list."

Sapa has great size, but he's also quick. He runs a 5,1 in the 40 and says that he is a mix of Warren Sapp and Julius Peppers, both big men who can move. He also says that his strength is his biggest asset.

"I am very powerful," he explained. "I am big and strong. I can be physical and overpower people."

Sapa's commitment was extra special to the family. His father was in the hospital all last week and got out the same day the defensive tackle made his pledge. The elder Sapa seemed very pleased with the news.

"It brightened up his day," the younger Sapa said. "He was smiling when I told him. My parents are both very happy that I am going to Arizona."

With NFL size and quicks, there could be a lot of pressure on Sapa. Arizona fans will hope that he can come in and give much needed size and depth on the defensive line.

Expectations are not the only thing he gets from his size, he also gets a lot of misconceptions.

"People think just because I am so big that I must be mean," Sapa lamented. "I'm actually a mellow, down to earth guy."


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