With the verbal commitments of Gabe Long, Louis Holmes, Delashaun Dean, Terrell Reese, D'Aundre Reed, James Tretheway and A.J. Simmons the Wildcat coaching staff had arguably the biggest recruiting week in the history of the Arizona Football program. Now that those seven are on board the scholarships become limited and the coaching staff now has to limit the numbers of kids they are going hard after.
The Math :
The Arizona Football program graduates 13 seniors that were on scholarship for the 2005 season. With those graduations the staff has that many rides to give. Added to the 13 are the six scholarships the program already had. At the end of the season the Cats were six under the maximum number of scholarships the NCAA allows, (85). Combining those two numbers gives the staff 19 rides to hand out, or the number of public commitments they have already received.
Defensive tackle Lawrence Ball has already decided to transfer and the future of tackle Byron Smith has been in doubt for months and it is safe to assume that he will not be on scholarship after the spring semester concludes. Other transfers are always possible due to normal attrition in programs these days so it is a safe bet that the coaching staff will have a full allotment of 25 scholarships to give out, with at least 21 being available now.
The 2006 Class so far:
Quarterback—Need (1), Committed (1), Tyler Lyon
Remaining Targets—(1), Dax Crum*
Wide Receiver—Need (3-4), Committed (2) , Terrell Reese, Delashaun Dean
Tight End—Need (2), Committed (2) , Cody Anderson, A.J. Simmons.
Defensive End—Need (3), Committed (3) , Louis Holmes, D'Aundre Reed, Ricky Elmore.
Defensive Tackle—Need (3), Committed (1) , Gabe Long.
Linebacker—Need (0), Committed (0) .
Remaining Targets—(1), Anthony Llanos*
After examining the class thus far, it is obvious that the staff wanted a well balanced class. With 19 commitments so far, 10 are offensive players and 9 are defensive, which is a very good ratio. It has been a very busy December for the Arizona Football program and January is shaping up to be a little less eventful but just as important.
Army Selections To Announce:
The Army All-American game is going to be a fun one to watch for Wildcat fans and coaches alike for possibly the first time. Last year the Cats had two commitments playing in the game in Daniel Borg and Brandon Tatum. This year the staff has no commitments in the game but two heavily sought after prospects that are planning on announcing at the game. During the course of the January 7th telecast both Devin Ross and Derrick Hill will make their college choices public. Arizona is in good standing with both as they are battling Oregon for Ross and USC and Cal for Hill.
JUCO Light, but JUCO Important:
Entering the 2005 season the coaching staff seemingly had intentions of going the Junior College route to help shore up a few positions. It appeared as if the staff wanted a replacement for Darrell Brooks at free safety and they got their top target in JUCO All-American Nate Ness. The staff apparently targeted the interior of the offensive line for immediate help and they got their man again in JUCO All-American James Tretheway. The coaching staff also wanted to build the defensive line through the JUCO ranks and they accomplished that mission as well when they received commitments from JUCO All-Americans Gabe Long (tackle) and Louis Holmes (end).
Dead Period Has Come
The first ‘Dead Period' has come and will start when the clock strikes midnight tonight. Starting December 19th and ending on January 2nd, the coaches cannot contact prospective recruits but once a week, and there is a short period when the staff cannot initiate any phone contact with recruits. The recruits can call the coaching staff whenever they please during the period, but the staff cannot initiate contact during the period.
*denotes possible preferred walk-ons or possible grey-shirt candidates.