Jefferson sticks with the Cats

He's been called Michael, M.J. and Mike and his prowess in turning pass receptions into big gains has recruiting gurus like Max Emfinger raving, but Mike Jefferson seems to take it all in stride, even the unusual last minute appeal based upon the ESPN special, "The Season".

The Parkland High of El Paso receiver has been compared to Texas standout Roy Williams by Emfinger, but looks to stake out his own reputation by bringing a combination of size, speed and athleticism to the Wildcat receiving corps. Cat Tracks caught up with the three sport athlete on a Sunday afternoon.

Cat Tracks:  Do they call you Mike, Michael or M.J.?
Michael Jefferson:  I've been called all of those.
C.T.  Are you glad the recruiting process is over?
M.J.  Oh Yeah, most definitely. 

C.T.  We heard you were still getting a lot of other teams coming in on you at the end even though you committed early?
M.J.  Yeah they were still trying to persuade me at the last minute.

C.T.  You got a chance to see the ESPN special on Wildcat football; what did you think of it?
M.J.  I thought the special was pretty neat.   Someone left me a taped copy of the second part of the special at my house and wrote a note telling me to make sure and watch it to see how Coach is, but I thought it was pretty funny they would do that just before signing day.   I don't know if it was someone from another school or a fan or what.
C.T.  You know the part they wanted you to watch?
M.J.  Yes, but my opinion is that Coach Mackovic is very competitive, and I believe everybody in high school football has been yelled at more than that.

C.T.  Since you also play basketball do you ever watch the Wildcats in basketball?
M.J.  Yes, I watch the Wildcats basketball team a lot.  I think they are pretty good after losing all the guys from last year.
C.T.  What coach recruited you?
M.J.  Coach Ianello, the receivers coach.

C.T.  Do you know a lot of the other kids who are in this recruiting class?
M.J.  The coach told me that most of the guys that visited the week I was there had committed so I know several of the recruits who are coming.

C.T.  Had you ever been to Tucson before your official visit?
M.J.  I had been to Phoenix for an AAU basketball tournament one summer a couple of years back.

C.T.  What's your major going to be?
M.J.  I want to major in Sociology.

C.T.  Weren't you a pretty good student?
M.J.  I get mostly A's and B's.

C.T.  What was it about your visit that you liked?
M.J.   The fan atmosphere seemed good.  I liked the coaching staff, the campus and the people; plus it's fairly close to home.  I really enjoyed my visit.

C.T.  Are you planning to red shirt next year or do you hope to play as a true frosh?
 M.J.  I believe I can come in and have an impact.

C.T.  Describe yourself as a receiver.  Are you a speed receiver?
M.J.  I think I am both a speed receiver and a physical one.

C.T.  How big are you?
 M.J.  I'm 6 2 and ½.    I weigh 193 right now.  I'm going to try to get to 200.  I have already started  lifting so I'll be up to 200.

C.T.  How did your basketball team do this year?
M.J.  We won in our area round, but we lost by 12 in the regional semis.  We didn't have a lot of height.  I was our tallest guy.  We were a team full of guards.

C.T.  Getting back to football, what were your numbers for the season?
M.J.  I believe I had 29 receptions.  I had 950 total receiving yards,   Returned kicks and punts.

C.T.  What was your primary role in the offense?
M.J.  We were a running team, but this year they did a lot of reverses and screens; things to get me the ball.  I also returned punts and kickoffs, but we were primarily a two-back running team.
C.T.  When do you think you will go to Tucson?
M.J.  I am going to try and get into the New Start program there which begins June 11.

C.T.  What's your forty time?  Didn't you run it in under 4.4?
M.J.  I ran the 40 in 4.39 the last time I did it, which was before football season.

C.T.  Do you also run track?
M.J.  Yes, I ran the 400 by 100 relay last week, but this week I'll run the 100 and 200 meters.

C.T.  What do you think about the offense Arizona runs?
M.J.  I think the Arizona offense is pretty balanced.  I think for the most part they spread the ball and let the players make plays.

C.T.  Do you know any of the other Texas guys who are coming to the UofA?
M.J.  I know Biren Ealy and I know Rashawn Mosley.  I think Rashawn was at Texas Tech when I visited there.

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