Key returners: Brandon Phillips RS Sr.; Reggie Sampay Sr.; Keoki Fraser Jr.; Chris Johnson RS Jr.; Tanner Bell So.; Keith Jackson RS Fr.; Kili Lefotu So.; John Parada RS Fr.
The Cats have a lot of quality players here and the two high school recruits will probably not be needed this season. The Cats received commitments from Robert Gustavis and John Mahaffey only to see the de-commit and go to ASU and Baylor respectively.
OL, 6-4, 290
La Mirada HS/Cerritos CC, La Mirada, CA
Rank: JC, 2-stars
JC lineman who originally was slated to enroll in January but is now a fall transfer. Played center last season, but has played all three line positions. Originally enrolled at Fordham and redshirted before transferring to Cerritos. As a senior in high school, he was named the Suburban League Offensive Lineman of the Year and selected 1st Team All-CIF. Originally committed to Kansas State before deciding to be a Wildcat.
2003 Role: Will come in and compete for the starting center job. Cats would like to see him get the job and move some of the other centers to their more natural guard positions. His position flexibility allows him to fill in all over the line, although at 290 he's better off in the middle.
Mackovic says: "Tom Robinson is an offensive lineman who is going to come in the fall. He will be a center."
OL, 6-5, 335
Garey HS, Pomona, California
Garcia is a huge lineman who played for a bad team this past season. Garcia is a big, strong blocker who fits in with the Wildcats' new philosophy on bigger linemen. He isn't highly touted by recruiting services, but has a lot of intangibles that people like. All-league and all-county selection. Was also considering Cal.
"The people there welcomed me with open arms," Garcia said. "I want to improve my overall strength and speed."
2003 Role: Garcia will most likely redshirt in 2003. He needs to get stronger and quicker. Will most likely be a tackle with his size.
Mackovic says: "He is an offensive tackle/guard; he can play both. He is one of the better athletes that we've been able to sign in the last couple of years. As a senior in high school last year, he ran the mile in 9:43. At 335 pounds, that is one heck of a run."
OL, 6-6, 280
Coronado HS, El Paso, TX
Rank: NR, 1-star
Graniello is a sleeper who has good size, and the potential to put on more bulk. He is a redshirt candidate, and is almost surely going to sit out to get stronger. Was All-City and All-District at Coronado High School. Chose Arizona over New Mexico State and UTEP. Likes Arizona's balanced offensive attack. Member of the National Honor Society.
"I'm real excited to be a Wildcat," Graniello said. "It's a good opportunity."
2003 Role: Graniello is a logical candidate to redshirt. The Wildcats have a lot of young linemen and he could use some more bulk.
Mackovic says: "He is a big 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle. He participated in shot put, and he is a good student."
OL, 6-6, 325
Newbury Park HS/Moorpark College, Newbury Park, CA
Clark played his high school ball at Newbury Park (Calif.) and was an excellent player but wasn't receiving the kind of attention his talent deserved. Was a key lineman for the 10-1, No. 6 ranked Raiders. Great size that could put him in the mix right away.
2003 Role: Clark will have a shot to play right away but also has the luxury of a redshirt. Will get a great look in the fall.
Mackovic says: "He also has three years to play two, and that's good with him coming in the fall."
Discuss the new recruits on the FOOTBALL MESSAGE BOARDS