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Cats’ grid recruits start signing up

Citizen Staff Writer



Trevor Erno is still popular among Pac-10 coaches despite giving an oral commitment to the Arizona Wildcats.

UCLA coaches came around last week to see him. Oregon’s and California’s staffs have been asking about the linebacker.

But the four-star (out of five) recruit, who committed to UA in May, said he’ll be a Wildcat.

“Coaches will come around and talk to my coach, and then he’ll tell me about it, but I’m very committed to Arizona,” Erno said. “I can’t wait to play for the Wildcats.”

One look at Arizona is all it took for Erno, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound bruiser from Lakewood (Calif.) High School.

He made an unofficial visit to Tucson and before he went home told coach Mike Stoops he would be a Wildcat.

“I really had no plans to commit early,” Erno said. “I just knew this was the place for me. The school, the players around here, the town . . .”

Nothing has changed the mind of the Wildcats’ top-rated defensive prospect, who is expected to sign Wednesday during the first day of the national letter of intent period.

Erno has received plenty of senior accolades, being named an all-state player, a Prep Star Dream Team member and joining the Lakewood High School football Hall of Fame.

Erno got the attention of offensive players, especially opposing ball carriers.

Erno, who was ranked as Rivals’ No. 3 run-stopping linebacker nationally and the 12th best linebacker overall, had 128 tackles, including 5 1/2 sacks, as a senior.

He had eight double-digit tackle games.

“I like to play hard, and I fly around the ball and hit people,” he said. “I like to hit people.”

Arizona is replacing senior linebackers Ronnie Palmer and Adrian McCovy, but has seniors-to-be Vuna Tuihalamaka, Sterling Lewis and Xavier Kelley coming back.

The rest of the unit doesn’t have much experience, which bodes well for Erno, who could play right away.

“The coaches have told me that they don’t want me to redshirt and that I could see action and play some special teams,” Erno said. “I’m ready. I still am lifting every day, but mentally I’m ready to go.”

Other players UA is expected to sign Wednesday:

• Marcus Benjamin, 6-1, 200, Arizona Western College. He had 67 tackles last season. He picked off two passes against then-No. 2 Snow College, returning one for a 55-yard touchdown. He could compete for a starting return spot after leading his conference in punt returns. He’s already enrolled in school.

• Jake Fischer, 5-11, 225, Ironwood Ridge High. The inside linebacker was menacing along the line of scrimmage and carried the ball as a fullback in leading the Nighthawks to the playoffs.

• Cordarius Golston, 6-1, 220, Lancaster (Texas) High. He played linebacker and some defensive end his senior season. He had 130 tackles and five sacks as a junior.

• Adam Hall, 6-4, 210, Palo Verde High. Although the Parade All-American scored 38 touchdowns his senior season, he will try to prevent scores as a safety for the Wildcats. He has the size and the physical tools to play almost anywhere on the field.

• Ryan Milus, 5-10, 155, Chandler Hamilton High. He was named a first-team all-state player by The Arizona Republic after finishing with 64 tackles as a good run-support cornerback. He returned a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Cass 5A-1 state title game. He also had a key late-first half interception in that contest.

• C.J. Parish, 6-2, 235, Blinn (Texas) College. Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri and New Mexico all sought the linebacker, who makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage.

• Jackson Powell, 6-4, 215, Newbury Park (Calif.) High. The defensive end is the son of former NFL standout and USC All-American Marvin Powell. He had 11 sacks as a junior and 10 as a senior. He was coached by former UA quarterback Keith Smith. Arizona won the recruiting battle over Oregon, Washington and Utah.

• Sione Tuihalamaka, 6-3, 275, defensive tackle, Serra High, Gardena, Calif. There’s no need to introduce him to his teammates, not with his cousin Vuna and brother Apai already playing for the Wildcats. Sione can stand on his own after making 83 tackles, including 13 sacks as a senior.

• Taimi Tutogi, 6-1, 260, Chula Vista (Calif.) High. He could also play fullback. “As a defensive end, gets the ball quickly and shows athleticism as a pass rusher,” ESPN.com wrote. He rushed for 490 yards, caught 26 passes for 404 yards and scored 16 touchdowns while also making 65 tackles, including eight sacks.

• Justin Washington, 6-3, 260, Cypress (Texas) Woods, High. Had 76 tackles and five sacks as a senior. He received interest from Oklahoma State, Missouri and Utah. He played defensive end, but could find a home at tackle.

Bruising linebacker among top Wildcat recruits ready to sign

‘I like to play hard, and I fly around the ball and hit people. I like to hit people.’


committed early to UA

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