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UA Football: JC stars Holmes, Long fail to report with newcomers

Newcomers reported Tuesday for the University of Arizona football team, but missing were five-star prospects Louis Holmes and Gabe Long.

Everybody else in the 22-member recruiting class showed up, in addition to 15 walk-ons, to get fitted for new uniforms and equipment.

Holmes and Long were the JC transfer jewels of a UA recruiting class ranked No. 19 nationally by Scout.com. Both signed letters to Arizona in December, but after failing to meet admission requirements, spent the summer working on gaining admission.

Holmes, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end from Scottsdale Community College and the top-rated 2005 JC player nationally, said a week ago he would report to Arizona, but it still could be several days, or possibly weeks.

Holmes, already predicted by preseason football magazines as one of the top impact newcomers nationally, has been around the UA campus often this summer.

Long, a 6-4, 280-pound defensive tackle from Fullerton (Calif.) College, is likely a long shot to enroll. He has been unable to be reached.

Because they are both considered recruitable athletes, and capable of going to any school, UA coaches can’t talk about the pair due to NCAA rules.

Classes start Aug. 21 at the UA.

The general rule of thumb is that a student-athlete can enroll up to the 12th day of school (Sept. 6), which gives them some leeway, although there will be missed practice time with workouts starting Thursday at 6 p.m.

If neither joins the team, the Wildcats have Johnathan Turner and Marcus Smith slated to start at the end spots, with Michael Shelton and Jason Parker as backups.

Turner, a sophomore, started 10 games last year, making 27 tackles, four for a loss. Smith, who has started 19 games in his career, was hurt during the second game of the 2005 season, but was granted a medical hardship to play out his senior year again.

The Wildcats have Yaniv Barnett and Paul Philipp as the No. 1 starters at defensive tackle. Barnett made 27 tackles last year after starting every game. Philipp is coming off a shoulder injury.

Backup tackles are Lionel Dotson and Donald Horton. Dotson started four times a year ago, including the final three games.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

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