Is Udofia still considering the Cats?

SAN ANTONIO - Is he or isn't he? That is the question all Wildcat fans have for football recruit Ekom Udofia. Is the big defensive tackle considering the Wildcats or is he down to a final three? So far he has sent out mixed messages.

Udofia told several recruiting analysts, including several from this network that he was down to three schools, USC, Miami and Stanford, yet he has told other media outlets, including Cat Tracks, that he had four finalists.

I spoke with Udofia as he watched the West Squad practice in preparation for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

"I'm down to four, I think four," Udofia said when I asked him how many teams were left on his list.

So did that mean he was still considering Arizona? "A little bit, a little bit," he answered to my query.

What makes things strange is that he told Chris Fetters, the Northwest Recruiting Analyst for that he was down to three teams Wednesday night. After that interview he told Cat Tracks' Chris Bonney that the Wildcats were one of his final teams.

Of course he told Fetters the same thing on the 10th, the same day a story appeared in the Tucson Citizen that the Wildcats were involved.

What makes it even stranger is that The Arizona Republic ran a story on Thursday in their Scottsdale Community section where his high school coach Ron Estabrook said that Oklahoma, Stanford and Miami were the three finalists, but that Miami was the leader. The article may have been written a few weeks ago, however, because it was dated January, 13th but was quoted as saying that Udofia would play in the Army game "later this month". The game is on Saturday.

What further discredits the story is that Udofia told a reporter from an Oklahoma newspaper that he really wasn't considering Oklahoma.

The Wildcat coaches, including head coach Mike Stoops, were in Udofia's home earlier in the week, even after he was quoted as saying that he was down to the final three. If he told the coaches they were no longer in the running, it did not deter them as they appear to be making a final push.

As it stands, no one will really know until Udofia makes his decision and that should be coming this weekend.

"Most likely I am going to decide on Saturday," Udofia said. In fact he has brought a selection of hats from the schools he is selecting from and will don the winner's cap on national television during the game.

Udofia admits that it has been tough as of late. The decision appears to be a tough one.

"I'm still trying to figure it out," he said. "I'm thinking about it a lot.

"It's (the recruiting process) been fun for the most part. It's fun, but when it gets closer to making your decision that's when it gets stressful and hard. Before that it is a lot of fun, getting a lot of attention. Now it is tough sorting it out."

One of the toughest aspects will be telling the other coaches that he is not going to their school.

"It will be tough because basically you've been talking to these coaches for two years," Udofia said. "You kind of know them pretty well. In the end it is your best decision, but it is going to be tough, but what is going to be best for you is most important."

Udofia spoke about the four schools.

"USC is the two time national champions and they lose two starting defensive tackles. That's a big opportunity to come in and play.

"Miami, there is so much talent year in and year out and they happen to be thin this year. They do so well at sending people to the NFL, which is the biggest goal for me.

"Arizona is a program that is turning it around. Right now I think they got a lot better this year. I think it is only going to get better. I think it is a huge opportunity and that I can make an instant impact.

"Stanford, my brother is there and my sister is probably going to go there for medical school. So it is an opportunity to be at school with them again and make a huge impact in trying to turn the program around."

As it stands only Ekom himself knows exactly what is going on. Arizona may or may not be in the hunt. If I go by what he told me and other in-state, then the Cats have at least an outside chance. If other reporters got the true story, then it will be a near miss on one heck of a player.

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