Big Recruiting weekend for the Cats

Entering the final weekend of the season the Arizona Wildcat football team is where it was last year. They have two wins entering their annual tilt with in-state rival Arizona State. Even though the 2004 record is the same as the 2003 record this year's Arizona team is far different from the one that took the field a year ago against Arizona State. The record has yet to improve but the overall attitude has changed. Even sitting at 2-8 the future of Arizona Football looks very, very bright.

So far in 2004 the new Arizona Wildcat coaching staff, despite the tough losses throughout the year, have been able to put together a recruiting class that is full of extremely talented athletes that will help Arizona realize the future that looks so bright.

Going into the final game of the season the Wildcats have garnered 15 verbal commitments from 14 high school players and one talented athlete from the junior college ranks. Of the 14 high school verbal commitments, the Cats have gotten verbals from four of the top local players from the state of Arizona, including two from the immediate Tucson area.

When the whistle blows the game alive on Friday, Arizona State and their fans will not be the only visitors in town for the weekend. The Wildcats will be playing host to a slew of talented prospects making their official visits, most of which are from the JUCO ranks. From here on out it will be extremely important for the Arizona coaches to land some immediate impact players from the JUCO ranks in order to stock the shelves with instant impact guys that can help next season.

There are two main areas that the Cat coaches will undoubtedly target for immediate help for next year, wide receivers/tight ends and the defensive line. The hosting of JUCO players began this past weekend as the coaches hosted Jerard Rabb, a 6 foot 3 inch wide receiver from Saddleback Community College in Southern California. Rabb told Cattracks that he had a really good time and thought of committing on his trip but held off so he could take another trip or two.

This weekend the Cat coaches will host a total of nine prospects for official visits, seven of which are from the JUCO ranks.

This weekend's visitors are…

Vince Oghobaase—6'6, 295 pound defensive tackle from Hastings High School in Alief, Texas. Oghobaase is a powerful defensive tackle prospect that is rated by Scout.com as the No. 4 defensive tackle nationally and is a 5-star prospect. Oghobaase has well over 20 offers and has decided to use one of his five official visits on Arizona. Big Vince visited Arizona in June with his father for the Mike Stoops Football Camp. Landing Oghobaase would be an amazing feet as he plays a position of great need for Arizona and he has instant impact potential coming out of high school.

B.J. Vickers—6'3, 200 pound wide receiver from Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California. Vickers is the exact type of player the Wildcats need on the offensive side of the ball. He has speed, size and a great ability to come down with the ball in pressure situations. Originally out of Venice High School, Vickers signed with Louisville but found himself at Santa Monica to get his academics in order. With his academics well in order Vickers will have 3 years to play 2 at the Division-1 level. Vickers father, Ryan, played tight end for Arizona in 1985 & 1986. The younger Vickers was actually born in Tucson.

Ruben Jackson—5'11, 185 pound wide receiver from City College of San Francisco in California. Jackson is a shorter receiver that possesses game breaking speed and he plays with a fearless demeanor. A true deep threat, Jackson has a knack for making plays once the ball is in his hands. Jackson attended high school in Stockton, California with current Arizona Wildcat running back Chris Henry and he also played with current Wildcat linebacker Randy Sims at CCSF last season.

Brandyn McCall—6'5, 250 pound tight end from Golden Coast College in Huntington Beach, California. Arizona graduates the top two tight ends on the roster after this weekend in Steve Fleming and Clarence McRae and beyond those two there is no experience or depth coming back. McCall is a big and strong tight end that has the ability to go down field in patterns as well as the ability to block on the edge. McCall would be an instant impact tight end and would see the field immediately for the Cats in 2005 if he were to sign. McCall is originally from Mid-Pacific Institute in Hawaii.

Nuu Tafisi—6'1, 260 pound defensive end from Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California. With Senior rush end Andre Torrey playing his final game as a Wildcat this weekend the Cats need to add a defensive pass rushing specialist from the JUCO ranks and Tafisi fits the bill. He is a little on the short side at 6'1 but he reminds some of former UA All-American Tedy Bruschi with the non-stop motor he shows on the field. Like McCall, Tafisi could step in right away and help Arizona get better real quick. Tafisi is originally from American Samoa but attended high school in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Aleem Harris—6'3, 220 pound safety from Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Harris is a big and strong safety that possesses above average speed for an athlete his size. Harris can literally play any of the four defensive back positions although he is better used as a free safety. If he chose Arizona he would likely be used as a big and physical nickel back in the cover-2 scheme that the Cats run. Harris is originally from Pacific High School in San Bernardino, California.

Michael Johnson—6'3, 200 pound safety from Tyler Community College in Tyler, Texas. Like Harris, Johnson is a physical safety that can flat out run. With above average speed Johnson could also play any of the four defensive back positions. Coming out of high school Johnson was being recruited by schools from Texas to Florida. Johnson would likely also be used as a nickel back if he were to sign with Arizona. Michael is originally from Pflugerville High School in Pflugerville, Texas.

Paul Nichols—6'3, 250 pound fullback/H-back from Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas. Originally from Kansas Nichols was not recruited as he came out of Uniontown, Kansas. Nichols is a very adept blocker and would likely be used in an H-Back role similar to Clarence McRae. Nichols is a hard-nosed football player that always seems to play with a chip on his shoulder. If there was a player out there that fits the attitude mold that head coach Mike Stoops loves it is Nichols.

Eben Britton—6'6, 280 pound offensive tackle from Burroughs High School in Burbank, California. Britton took an unofficial visit to Arizona for the Mike Stoops camp in June and committed to play for the Cats before even leaving the state of Arizona. Britton is a soft spoken ‘gentle giant' off the football field but on the field he possesses an aggressive attitude that Arizona line coach Eric Wolford loves to see in his linemen. Britton has the perfect frame for the right tackle position and he has room to grow. He is already strong enough to possibly play at the college level but will still likely red shirt in his first season at Arizona. Britton is an excellent student and will major in Creative Writing when he gets on the Tucson campus next fall.


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