Inside it was an organized mad scramble. The football support staff calmly handed out forms, keys and information, while pumped up coaches scurried around looking for players and making sure things were getting done.
The players did their best to fill out the information needed by the school, while also searching out their teammates and friends. In between they dealt with parents and siblings, all while trying to say hello to every coach in sight. It is clearly a day of excitement, enthusiasm and just a touch of nervousness. For most of these players it will be their first time on their own. For many of the parents it will be the first time they let their sons go.
"It's not so much the look in the eyes of the kids, it's the look in the eyes of the parents," coach John Mackovic said.
Parents sought out the coaches that recruited their sons. Hugs and handshakes were exchanged. Coach Mackovic would escort parents back in his office for a chat or introduce himself to the younger siblings who were sharing in the excitement.
Running back Clarence Farmer was present at the offices to reconnect with players he helped recruit. The Houston native was especially friendly with a number of the Texas players who make up a large portion of this class.
"We kid the California guys," said tight end Matt Padron, a San Antonio native. "We tell them that Arizona is just part of Texas now."
Padron is one of a handful of players who have already spent time in Tucson over the summer. The players had a chance to enroll in summer school and get acquainted with the University, the facilities, the players and most importantly, the heat.
"Both places are hot," Padron said of Texas and Arizona. "But it's a lot dryer here."
"I have to get used to the triple digits," said wide receiver Mike Jefferson.
The young Wildcats will mix two-a-day practices with a series of orientations over the next few days, before a day long orientation on Thursday. The veterans report on Friday and camp opens in full on Saturday with the "Mackovic Mile" and a full practice.
For the rest of the day the players had the task of moving into their dorm room, getting their equipment and taking a physical. Somewhere in there they would squeeze in a team dinner. Clearly a busy day was in store.
"There is a sense of wonderment, of uncertainty," Mackovic said. "They read and re-read their itinerary. There is only like three things on it, but they want to make sure they are on time."
*All of the Wildcat recruits were expected to be here on time with the exception of DE recruit Marlon Brisco. Brisco is still in the process of having his transcripts evaluated. If he is approved for admission it will be some time next week.
*It appears as if four non-scholarship players will join the recruiting class. These include Wyoming transfer Matt Belshe, his brother Jacob and All-State player Adam Moro of Blue Ridge.
*Mackovic was most pleased that he had a newcomer at every position, which allows the staff to do a lot more things than a year ago. One problem is the fact that quarterback Ryan O'Hara has a summer session class at 9:00 in the morning and will leave practices a bit early. Mackovic said the bulk of the passing work will be concluded early.
The 2002 Arizona Rookie Class:
Akin Akinniyi LB 5-11 220 Fr. Carrollton, Texas (Creekview HS) Danny Baugher P 5-10 185 Fr. Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Pointe HS) Tanner Bell OT 6-8 324 Fr. Castroville, Calif. (N. Monterey County HS) Jake Belshe DL 6-2 256 Fr. Eagar, Ariz. (St. Johns HS) Matt Belshe* QB 6-1 225 Fr-RS Eagar, Ariz. (Show Low HS/Wyoming) Beau Carr RB 5-10 206 Fr. Spring, Texas (Westfield HS) Seth Crozier RB 6-0 198 Fr. Pinetop, Ariz. (Blue Ridge HS) Biren Ealy WR 6-2 175 Fr. Houston, Texas (Cypress Falls HS) Nicholas Folk PK 6-1 180 Fr. Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Notre Dame HS) Gilbert Harris FB 6-1 211 Fr. San Antonio, Texas (Churchill HS) Keith Jackson OT 6-5 312 Fr. Inglewood, Calif. (Inglewood HS) Mike Jefferson WR 6-2 195 Fr. El Paso, Texas (Parkland HS) Spencer Larsen LB 6-1 221 Fr. Gilbert, Ariz. (Highland High School) Kili Lefotu OL 6-5 298 Fr. Riverside, Calif. (Arlington HS) Eric Levitre OL 6-1 276 Fr. Santa Cruz, Calif. (San Lorenzo Valley HS) John McKinney LB 6-0 220 Fr. Copperas Cove, Texas (CCHS) Jason Martin CB 5-10 175 Fr. Pasadena, Calif. (Muir HS) Lamon Means S 6-3 190 Fr. Galena Park, Texas (Galena Park HS) Adam Moro SS 5-10 185 Fr. Pinetop, Ariz. (Blue Ridge HS) Willis Morrison WR 5-11 170 Fr. Flagstaff, Ariz. (Sinagua HS) Ryan O=Hara QB 6-6 195 Fr. Pasadena, Calif. (Muir HS) Matt Padron TE 6-5 259 Fr. San Antonio, Texas (Clark HS) John Parada OT 6-8 326 Fr. Alta Loma, Calif. (Alta Loma HS) Paul Philipp DE 6-2 265 Fr. San Bernardino, Calif. (SBHS) Gary Shepard CB 5-10 180 Fr. Spring, Texas (Westfield HS) Marcus Smith DE 6-5 220 Fr. San Diego, Calif. (Mission Bay HS) Carl Tuitavuki DT 6-3 350 Jr. Oakland, Calif. (San Leandro/Ricks CC Tim Volk DE 6-2 260 Fr. Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Notre Dame HS) Mitchell Willis TE 5-11 170 Fr. Queen Creek, Ariz. (Queen Creek HS)