In this update we will go position by position to see what the Cats are trying to accomplish. With just 17 scholarships for this class it is harder to narrow things down to be terribly exact in the positional numbers. Obviously these numbers are just guesses and they are in no way official nor are they affiliated with the Wildcat coaching staff in any way.
Quarterbacks – Need 1 – 1 Commit
The Wildcat coaching staff started early, as they must in recruiting quarterbacks, and they identified a short list of their top targets. Guys like Teddy Schell, Jarrett Lee and Griff Robles we noticed and offers were extended. Showing how recruiting can be a funny thing, the Cats hosted their Elite camp in June and it ended with the Cats getting their man. Bryson Beirne was not ‘on the radar' publicly but was invited to the camp and impressed enough to earn an offer. Less than 24 hours after returning home to Hawaii, Beirne was a Cat. The 6-foot-3 inch Hawaiian is a Tuitama like clone in many ways. They have similar physical attributes and abilities.
Top Targets on the Board – None
Running Backs – Need 1 or 2 – 1 Commit
The Cats are pretty deep and still young at the running back position but there are doubts about some of the guys on the roster. Adding one running back was a given and backs coach Kasey Dunn got one of his top targets when Nicholas Grigsby committed to the Cats. It is unlikely that Grigsby will be alone in this class at the position, especially considering who the Cats look to have left on the board. Also, considering Grigsby could ultimately move to the secondary down the line, adding either Jahvid Best or Joseph Reese would be great and the Cats do seem to seriously be in the market for another back. Best and Reese seem to be the only two they would take. Even if they both wanted to come, the Cats definitely would take them both.
Top Targets on the Board – Jahvid Best and Joseph Reese
Tight Ends – Need 1 – None Committed
The Cats added a few very versatile tight ends to the roster in the 2006 class but with the impending graduation of Brad Wood and Brandyn McCall the Cats are looking to add another in 2007 and they set their sights high. The top target is clearly 5-star tight end Rob Gronkowski and the Cats are sitting in a surprisingly good position for the New York stud. Other candidates with offers from the Cats are Devin Mahina, Billy Chavis, Nate Chandler and Savaii Eselu.
Top Targets on the Board – Rob Gronkowski, Billy Chavis and Savaii Eselu
Wide Receivers – Need 2 or 3 – 2 Committed
With the commitments of David Roberts and Devin Veal the Cats wide receiver recruiting seemed to come to an end early but that is not the case. At this point the Cats would be more than willing to welcome one more wide out to the fray if he came from a very select group of available candidates. Veal and Roberts are more than capable wide outs but the all around versatility of Veal allows the Cats some room to maneuver. Veal can easily play corner or even safety at the next level.
Offensive Line – Need 3 – None Committed
Arizona line coach Eric Wolford has repeatedly said that he wants a minimum of three offensive linemen in each and every class. The balance of what three types of players you take depends on the roster and this year it seems that the Cats are in need to one pure tackle and two inside guys. This year is an interesting year for line players on the Cats radar as many will be late decisions and not early ones, which is what the Cats have become accustomed to.
Defensive Ends – Need 2 – None Committed
Even though there is very good depth on the roster currently, much of the depth went from being underclassmen to upperclassmen this summer and it is time to add a couple more rushers to the list. The Cats picked a very good year to go out and get two for the position as this year seems to be a very good year for ends in the main recruiting areas the Cats hit and it all starts with the main man, everyone's main man, Everson Griffen. Griffen is wanted and needed more in Tucson than any other college town and simply put, he is the top target regardless of position.
Defensive Tackles – Need 2 – 1 Committed
Like the quarterback position, the Cats identified their top targets early and did well in getting in on many of them from the start. Also like the quarterback position, the Cats landed a previously ‘off the radar' guy when Hans Philipp showed up at the camp and earned an offer. With Philipp solidly in the fold there is room for one more big man in the middle and a host of good looking prospects are on the radar.
Linebackers – Need 2 – 1 Committed
The Cats pulled an early coup in the recruiting game when they landed 4-syar linebacker Terrance Pritchett from Sacramento, California. With one in the bag the Cats are still in the hunt for one more backer and they have some solid prospects still on the board, including their seemingly top guy left in Jermaine Love from Texas.
Cornerbacks – Need 0 or 1 – None Committed
With Antoine Cason and Wilrey Fontenot entering their junior years and with Devin Ross, Cam Nelson and Michael Turner now on campus the Cats are not in absolute need of corners for 2007. But, even though they don't have a dying need to add a corner, this is still a Stoops coached team so they are still looking to add one for 2007 and they, again, have set their sights high.
Safeties– Need 1 or 2 – None Committed
Both of the defensive back spots can be played by Devin Veal even though we have him listed as a wide receiver. The Cats are looking to add at least one, and possibly two, safeties in the 2007 class with the impending graduation of Michael Johnson and Marcus Hollingsworth. They still have guys like Michael Klyce, Corey Hall and Xavier Kelley in the safety fold and Cam Nelson could play either safety spot as well, but they still need at least on safety to join the fold, not just for purely depth purposes, but for spread out depth, class wise.
Kicker/Punter – Need 0 or 1 – None Committed
With Nick Folk entering his senior year and Punter Danny Baugher already graduated it would be wise to add either a kicker or a punter. The kicking duties could fall to Jason Bondzio, after Folk departs, and the punting duties should be in good hands in 2006 and beyond so it is not a position of great need but adding a kicker would be a good idea, if it is possible without hurting another position.