Class of 2008: Defense

Arizona signed 10 defensive players, eight of whom are freshmen. The group includes 3 DTs and 4 LBs

Dominique Austin
Defensive Line
Freshman, 6-4, 255
La Puente, Calif. (Bishop Amat)
Could factor at defensive end or tackle for Arizona… PrepStar All-West…Played on both lines for La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat and coach Mark Verti… Tallied 47 tackles along the defensive line… First Team All-Serra League and First Team All-San Gabriel Valley Tribune… Camp circuit in Southland, earning all-combine second-team defense in May in Los Angeles… Recruited by coach Sonny Dykes… Date of birth Nov. 11, 1990

Kenny Barnes
Defensive End
Freshman, 6-2, 235
Glendale, Ariz. (Kellis)
PrepStar All-West…Played defensive end, tackle, tight end and running back at times in his high school career for coach Jason Golden… Settled at defensive end during Kellis' first varsity season in 2006 with only a freshmen through junior roster… 2007 was Kellis' first four-year class and Barnes will be among its first FBS Division athletes…. Shot putter, sprinter and discus thrower for Kellis in high school… Recruited by coach Tim Kish… Date of birth Oct. 29, 1989…

Zander Fabbri
Freshman, 6-1, 255
Bakersfield, Calif. (Centennial)
PrepStar All-West honors for coach Bryan Nixon… Fullback as well as linebacker in his prep career, with 94 carries for 833 yards and 17 scores his junior year… GoldenStatePreps second-team All-Southern California after 10-2 senior year… Likely to open his first camp at UA as a Mike linebacker… All-state underclass as junior for Golden Hawks of Southwest Yosemite League, and league defensive MVP in 2006… Recruited by coach Joe Robinson… Date of birth June 6, 1989…

Robert Golden
Freshman, 5-11, 190
Fresno, Calif. (Edison)
Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West… Tacoma News Tribune Western 100… PrepStar Dream Team 2007…All-(Fresno) Bee 2007 Football All-Star… Second-team all-state by CalHiSports and All-Valley first-team honors… U.S. Army All-American game… MaxPreps Division II All-State first team… Helped Edison 10-1-1 record and state semifinals… Among top-rated on Arizona's list of signees…Three-year starter for Edison, which has turned out a number of D-I defensive backs over the years…Tigers coach Tim McDonald – of USC fame – says hardly anyone completed any passes against lockdown-corner Golden in 2007, who was joined in the secondary by Tim Jr., a safety… In 2006, had 65 tackles and four interceptions playing opposite all-state pick Courtney Viney… Recruited by coach Tim Kish… Date of birth Sept. 13, 1990…

Solomon Koehler
Defensive Tackle
Freshman, 6-3, 305
Kaneohe, Hawa'ii (Castle)
Tacoma News Tribune Western 100… Honorable mention Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West… Arguably the state's top player and a member of several top 100 national lists… U.S. Army All-American Bowl San Antonio Jan 5. where he announced decision to attend UA…Interscholastic League of Honolulu ILH All-Star honors 2007…PrepStar Dream Team…Honolulu Advertiser All-State 1st-team defensive lineman 2007… PIAA 2007 Top Defensive Lineman award… Honolulu Star-Bulletin first-team all-state as junior offensive lineman and second-team honors in '07 as defensive tackle… Played four offensive line positions for coach Nelson Maeda in addition to interior defensive duty… Defensive MVP of the 2006 All-Poly camp… He earned 4th place overall in the Hawaii Strongest Teen Strong Man in 2006, and won the Hawaii Strongest Teen Strong Man 4th Place Overall in 2006…Also invited to All-American Bowl in Jackson, Miss… HUB Goodwill Senior Bowl in Honolulu in December, East Team player… Recruited by coach Mike Tuiasosopo… Date of Birth May 1, 1990…

Sterling Lewis (Enrolled)
5-11, 225, Junior
Blinn College
First-team all-defense Southwest Junior College Football Conference in 2007 as an outside linebacker for the Buccaneers … Had 61 tackles, 11tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, three recoveries, an interception and a blocked punt in 2007 for coach Scott Maxfield… Team was 7-3, losing in first round of playoffs after a 12-0 NJCAA title year in 2006 as Pilgrims' Pride Bowl champs… Played for coach Brad Franchione, son of Dennis Franchione… Had two sacks as freshman in 2006… Prepped at Copperas Cove, Texas, High School… Recruited by coach Dana Dimel… Date of Birth Dec. 3, 1987…

Chris Merrill
Defensive Tackle
Freshman, 6-2, 275
Scottsdale, Ariz. (Saguaro)
PrepStar All-West… Arizona Football Coaches Association first-team All-State 4A defensive line… East Valley Tribune All-4A-2A second-team offensive line… Comes to UA from a team with twin titles and a 27-1 record in past two years under coach John Sanders… 1st team all 4A as an OL and 1st team all region on both sides of the ball as a junior after recording 73 tackles and 21 sacks… Helped team win 4A Division I state title junior year at 13-1... Merrill caused a fumble that led to the winning score in 41-21 victory over Sabino in that title game…Sabercats repeated at 14-0 in 2007 with a 23-21 victory over CDO… 12 sacks as senior two-way player… Recruited by Arizona linebackers coach Tim Kish and was one of initial commitments in the class… Date of birth Oct. 6, 1989…

Vuna Tuihalamaka (Enrolled)
6-2, 240, Junior
El Camino College
First-team J.C. Grid-Wire All-America in 2006 as sophomore at California state juco champion El Camino Community College… 148 tackles in 14 games, with 14.5 for losses… Mission Conference national division Defensive Player of the Year for coach John Featherstone, 1st-team inside linebacker… SuperPrep Juco 100, No. 23 prospect… California Community College athlete of the month for October 2006… Season-high 15 tackles vs. Cerritos… 18 tackles as a freshman, with 2 TFL, 1 sack and four PBUs… Prepped at Hawthorne, Calif., High School… Attended Pima College in Tucson in fall 2007… Cousin is UA redshirt LB Apaiata Tuiahalamaka… Recruited by coach Mike Tuiasosopo… Date of birth: Feb. 28, 1987…

Jowyn Ward
Defensive Tackle
Freshman, 6-2, 265
Katy, Texas (Mayde Creek)
First-team All-District 18-5A as a defensive lineman in 2007… PrepStar All-Midlands… Dave Campbell's Texas Football Top 20 DL… 5Atexasfootball DL super list… Reported 80 tackles and four sacks his senior year… 71 tackles as a junior…Two-way lineman for coach Joe Sheffy, offensively as a short-yardage blocker, and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery against Alief Taylor… Second-team All-District 18-5A defense as junior… Eighth place in 5A Region III track meet in April 2007 in shot put…Outstanding student recruited by service academies… Interested in UA's engineering programs… Recruited by coach Dana Dimel… Date of birth May 24, 1990…

R.J. Young
Freshman, 5-11, 225
DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto)
First-team All-District 8-5A defense as outside linebacker in 2007 for district coach of the year Dave Meadows… PrepStar All-Midlands… Dallas Morning News Area Top 100… Dave Campbell's Texas 300 Top 40 linebacker… Helped DeSoto finish with No. 14 state ranking by, with second-round playoff appearance for 5A Division II… Joins DeSoto alums Mike Thomas and Donald Horton on UA squad… Had 69 tackles and three sacks his senior year… Interested in communications field with an eye toward sports broadcasting… Recruited by coach Mark Stoops… Date of birth Aug. 3, 1990…

Wildcat Authority Top Stories