Two-sport standout commits to Cats

Arizona recruiting continues to roll. The Wildcats have added their fifth known commitment of the summer, a full month before Mike Stoops coaches his first football game with the Wildcats. This time they add a two-sport star, the likes of which they have not had.

Jermichael Finley is a 6-4, 210-pound WR/TE prospect who is also a pretty darn good basketball player. He will play both sports at Arizona, although football will be his priority.

Finley took an unofficial visit on Monday and committed before he left campus today.

"It was nice and I liked it," said Finley, who was on his way back to Las Vegas, where the Houston Hoops just wrapped up playing in the Nike Main Event Tournament.

The visit allowed him to interact with coaches and players, including running back Mike Bell and position coach Charlie Williams. Williams coached Keyshawn Johnson while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that was a selling point for the receiver.

"Keyshawn and I are the same type of player," Finley said. "We are both big receivers."

The Insiders' Texas recruiting analyst Stacey Dean likens him to another big NFL receiver.

"He reminds of a Herman Moore-type," Dean said. "Kid is definitely someone to contend with and will pose match-up problems and be a force to reckon with in the red zone."

Finley is rated as the No. 4 tight end in the nation by the Insiders, but will start his Wildcat career as a wide receiver. He has the potential to be the type of big, athletic receiver that other Pac-10 schools have had, but Arizona has lacked. At 6-4, 210 he is big, but athletic. He has nice quickness and feels that he can be a deep threat.

"Just throw the deep ball to me," Finley said of his role in the offense.

He does not have ideal game breaker speed, self-reporting a 4.6, but his stride and quickness give him an advantage over smaller defensive backs. He is also aware that he needs to make some improvements before he gets to Tucson.

"I need to work on my speed," Finley said. "I need to be a little faster."

Finley may be on a football scholarship, but he also has a place on the Wildcat basketball team. Finley is very quick and is one terrific slasher. He is also a great rebounder, especially on the offensive end. "Rashad Lewis is the best offensive rebounder I ever coached," said Hal Pastner, who runs the Houston Hoops. "Jermichael could be, after Rashard, the best we've had on the offensive glass. He could make his mark as a tremendous offensive rebounder for the Wildcats."

Pastner has had some experience with two-sport stars, most notably David Boston. Athletically Pastner feels that Finley is in the same class.

"He has the quickest hands," Pastner said. "They are the quickest of anyone I have coached. Overall, the only player who was quicker was David Boston, who spent nine years in my program. Other than David, Jermichael is probably the quickest player I've had."

Finley will play small forward at Arizona. He is a slasher, who does a great job getting to the hoop. He's not a great shooter, relying mostly on lay-ups and dunks.

Finley is a very soft-spoken young man who replies to questions with "yes, sir" and "no, sir". Pastner has nothing but good things to say about the young man he calls the "Mayor".

"Of all the players I have been around with the (Houston) Hoops, Jermichael is one of my favorites of all time as a person, not as an on-court talent," said Pastner. "He's from a little town, Diboll. Everyone calls him ‘Diboll', but I call him the ‘Mayor' because he is the best thing to ever come from the town."

Finley has a ways to go before he is the mayor of Tucson, but Wildcat fans should be thrilled to have him. After years of watching the likes of Reggie Williams torch the team, the Cats finally have a player who has a chance to be the same type of threat.


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