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Arizona lands four-star tight end, adds a needed linebacker

CREDIT: 247sports
CAPTION: Taylor McNamara 2009 highlights

The Arizona Wildcats football team has landed what could be one of its headlining players for its 2012 recruiting class — tight end Taylor McNamara from Westview High in San Diego.

Rivals.com rates McNamara as a four-star recruit, and 247sports.com ranks McNamara as No. 144 on its list of senior prospects.

“There were a lot of reasons why I liked Arizona,” McNamara told ESPN.com’s Greg Biggins.

“I’ll have a chance to play early there, I’m comfortable with the school and the direction the program is going in, it’s close enough to home for my parents and coaches to come and watch me and I like the players on the team and trust the coaching staff there.”

McNamara, in a recent blog for SportingNews.com wrote that he had more than 20 scholarship offers.

He wrote of Arizona: “Arizona presents the opportunity of early playing time and has shown they know how to get the ball to the tight end and the whole program is surrounded with great people.”

The Wildcats, desperate for depth at linebacker in 2011 behind starters Paul Vassallo and Derek Earls, have added junior college recruit David Lopez from Cerritos Community College for this season.

Arizona has lost three scholarship linebackers since last season — backups Trevor Erno and R.J. Young left the team, and Kyle Benson ran into academic trouble. Starter Jake Fischer suffered a torn ACL in the spring game, and is likely to miss at least half the season, if not all of it. He has a redshirt year available.

Arizona has walk-on Bilal Muhammed in reserve and is expected to need some sort of contributions from a trio of incoming freshmen — Rob Hankins, Hank Hobson and Dominique Petties.

WildcatSportsReport.com — one of the partners in the TucsonCitizen.com Sports Network — has more about Lopez on its site.

(Just in case there was any doubt, McNamara tweeted the news of his commitment this morning.)

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