Defensive tackle makes a decision

Arizona has had a need at defensive tackle and were having some difficulties landing recruits at that position. Last year they brought in just one defensive lineman and until this week David Sharp was the only DT commitment. This past week the Cats' fortunes improved. First Cedric Cofer solidified his "soft verbal" and then on Monday night they added their second prep DT.

Cliff Stanford of Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles visited Arizona this past weekend and it will be his final visit.

"I've committed there," Stanford said. "Arizona."

Stanford played both offensive and defensive line in high school but the 6-4, 275-pounder will play defensive tackle for the Wildcats.

"The coaches all wanted me there," Stanford said of his decision. "They said they want to build a program around me on defense."

The chance for immediate playing time was a big decision for Stanford.

"They (the coaches) tell me if I come in and work hard, show what I can do in practice ,that I can be the type of player that they can build the defense around."

It was the Wildcat coaches that sold Stanford on the Wildcats.

"I felt good talking to the coaches," Stanford said. "I feel I can have a good relationship with them. At the beginning of recruiting I heard that Coach (John) Mackovic was a bad coach and that they had a bad program, but that's not what I saw there. They want to build the program."

He's at 275 now, but Wildcat coaches have told him that with some work in the weight room he can take the field at 285 or 290 next season. As a senior he had 11 sacks up the middle.

"I'm good at getting off the ball fast," Stanford said of his strengths on defense. "When I make contact with a guy I make sure he's down."

Stanford is familiar with one of the current Cats, senior cornerback Gary Love is from the same high school as Stanford. He met a number of other players and left with a great impression of his future teammates.

"They seemed pretty cool. It seemed like they wanted me to come there and help the team."

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