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UPDATING: Arizona Wildcats Signing Day blog: Cats add a surprise QB/athlete

Arizona has signed 23 players today, to go along with two who are already enrolled. Not sure of the status of junior college cornerback Prince Holloway, but there were rumblings that he would not be signing. The Wildcats are still in the running for three-star defensive back David Price from Long Beach Poly. He is scheduled to take an official visit to Arizona this weekend.

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A familiar name popped up on New Mexico State’s signing list: Defensive lineman Willie Mobley. Looks like Mobley, listed as a senior last season, still has some football left to play. Here is my story on that.

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And cornerback Devin Holiday is officially on board.

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As of 11:30 a.m., here is how Arizona ranks nationally in recruiting:

–No. 25 (Scout.com)
–No. 36 (Rivals.com)
–No. 58 (247Sports)

By comparison, ASU is 36th, 35th and 43rd, respectively.

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Arizona wraps up its Google+ Hangout at 11 a.m. Among the players previously committed, only two are still out: Cornerback Devin Holiday (expected to sign later at a ceremony at his school) and JC corner Prince Holloway.

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Arizona previously announced it would hold a spring scrimmage in the Phoenix area for the second consecutive year. Here are the details: March 29 at Phoenix College at 7 p.m.

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Here in a separate story: The Pac-12 Networks’ Yogi Roth talks about QB Anu Solomon and makes an impressive and intriguing comparison.

And more on Solomon: Here is an excerpt from an interview on FoxSportsArizona.com with Scout.com recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman:

FSAZ: Looking closer at Solomon, can he end up being another Brett Hundley or Marcus Mariota type, really emerging as a redshirt freshman?

Huffman: That’s a pretty good comparison. The only difference between Mariota and Anu Solomon physically is Mariota probably has two or three inches on Solomon, and he might be a step faster. But they’re very, very similar quarterbacks. They have that quick release, a lot of good spin on their passes, and they’re the kind of guys that are kind of like “Hey, all you other guys on offense, get on my back, I’m going to carry you.” The first two years Solomon was the starting quarterback at Bishop Gorman, he was blessed with a lot of talent around him. This year was not a very talented team, so there was more expected from him, and he played the best he has in those three years. If he can go through a growth spurt, he could be a Marcus Mariota clone.

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Here are highlights from surprise signee, quarterback Khari McGeee.

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Charlie Ragle, who takes over as the tight ends coach, will also be coaching special teams.

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Arizona comes up with its first surprise addition of Signing Day: Quarterback/athlete Khari McGee from Edison High in Fresno, Calif. McGee, who also took an official visit to Oregon State, is rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and a two-star recruit by Scout.com. He also considered Utah.

“I love it out there, all the coaches and the atmosphere and the way I’m treated,” McGee said on Arizona’s Google+ Hangout.

“Plus, the offense. Y’all bring something to the table that fits exactly what I want to run. With it being that kind of offense, Arizona is going to be unstoppable.”

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Business as planned. Eight more have rolled in during the past 45 minutes: DL Luca Bruno, DT David Maka, RB Zachary Green, C Steven Gurrola, QB Anu Solomon, DB R.J. Morgan, LB DeAndre Miller, LB Ryan Dunn.

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Put them on the board: WR Lee Walker and RB Pierre Cormier, teammates from San Diego Madison High School.

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Here is a link to a separate story on the loss of junior college recruits Brandon Golson and Mario Alford to West Virginia.

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Big offensive tackle Jacob Alsadek signs. Little known fact: His mother, Sophia, follows me on the Facebook.

New offensive line coach Jim Michalczik talked about Alsadek on Arizona’s live Google+ Hangout:

“First thing, Big Jake is big. He’s kind of a mountain of a man. Everybody thinks offensive line is just about getting the biggest guys you can. It’s not. You want athletic, tough guys who can go out and play other sports. He fits that mold very well. Smart young man; tough; a hard worker. All those things.”

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WR/RB Mauriece Lee and WR Paul Elvira, teammates from Tempe Marcos de Niza, have signed. Writes the Arizona Republic of Lee: “Slippery, crafty, resilient, versatile. Great in space.” And on Elvira: “Had 48 catches and had 12 touchdown catches last season. Great slot receiver. Good possession receiver who can make thing happen after he catches the ball. Sure hands.”

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Calvin Allen, a long, athletic defensive end from Albuquerque, has signed. He plays a position in definite need of an upgrade, so he will be one to watch in fall camp, as will redshirt freshman Kyle Kelly. The future of the pass rush at Arizona? The ability to get to the quarterback off the edge has been missing at Arizona for two years.

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Wide receiver Nate Phillips from Basha High School in Chandler has faxed in his letter. He made the Arizona Republic’s All-Arizona team as a kick returner. The letters-of-intent should start coming in faster now.

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Mario Alford, who signed with West Virginia instead of Arizona, is rated as the 11th-best junior college recruit in the country by 247Sports, so UA took a hit, ranking-wise, with his departure. The Cats have dropped from 45th to 57th in 247Sports’ team ranking. What do I know, considering I haven’t seen any of these kids play in person, but that seems awfully low.

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Jesse Scroggins

Jesse Scroggins throws a pass during a 2011 spring practice at USC. Photo by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks coach Rod Smith joined Arizona’s Google+ hangout to talk about junior college transfer Jesse Scroggins.

Scroggins spent two seasons at USC before playing at El Camino Junior College in Torrance, Calif., last season.

“He was a very talented kid out of high school,” Smith said.

“He’s taken a different path than most kids do, but at the same time, he’s here and he’s extremely happy. We saw him in junior college and basically made the pitch to him that he had the opportunity to compete right away for the starting job.

“That’s all he wanted to hear. He’s a hungry young man. He’s going to work extremely hard.”

Scroggins, from his days as an elite high school recruit, has been known for his arm.

“He’s got a cannon for an arm. Can make every throw. He has an NFL-type arm,” Smith said.

“He’s a big kid — 6-foot-3, 215 pounds — and he’s very athletic for his size. So, not only can he throw, but he can move in the pocket, escape, elude defenders. The next step is him getting acclimated to what we do offensively and make sound decisions.”

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We hear that Salpointe Catholic wide receiver Brogan Kemmerly, who has had plans to walk-on at Arizona, might instead end up signing a letter-of-intent today. Stay tuned.

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Arizona has lost one of its junior college recruits. You could see this one coming for a couple of weeks, but you never know how it is going to play out. Anyway, running back Mario Alford from Georgia Military Academy is going to West Virginia, according to Rivals.com. Now, the attention turns to his teammate, linebacker Brandon Golson.

Alford told 247Sports that “I feel like I can come in and take over up there. I know they really need me up there and I’m not sure Arizona did. I feel like I can make a name for myself at West Virginia.”

I guess that’s a compliment to Arizona’s other weapons on offense.

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One of the themes of this Arizona Wildcats recruiting class is going to be speed. That can easiest be seen with several versatile athletes on offense — running backs and receivers, including T.J. Johnson from Florida. He is the second player to fax in his letter.

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And the first newest Arizona Wildcat is defensive lineman Jack Banda from Loganville, Ga.

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Word is, in the last couple of days a couple of in-state recruits have accepted an opportunity to be a “preferred walk-on” at Arizona — Red Mountain WR Drake Pierre and Chandler RB Myles Smith.

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So it begins. The Arizona Wildcats are kicking off this Signing Day at 5 a.m. with a Google+ Hangout live from the football offices.

UA promises a “fax cam” as the letters-of-intent roll in, interviews with coaches and other goodies. Arizona will be fielding questions via Facebook and Twitter through the hashtag #AZOKGDay.

Go ahead and ask. What does OKG stand for?

As the program’s director of on-campus recruiting and player personnel Matt Dudek explains in the video below, it’s one of coach Rich Rodriguez’s pet phrase. It stands for “Our Kinda Guy.”

“We’re not worried about how many stars they got,” Dudek said of the recruits. “We’re not worried about how other people think about them, just how they fit into this program.”

Committed/Signed players

We’ll add an asterisk after a player’s name as the letter-of-intent comes in …

Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Hometown 247 Rivals Scout
Calvin Allen* DE 6-5 225 La Cueva HS Albuquerque, N.M. 3 3 3
Jacob Alsadek* OT 6-7 332 Torrey Pines HS San Diego, Calif. 3 3 3
Derek Babiash* CB 6-1 165 Poway HS Poway, Calif. 4 3 4
Jack Banda* DE 6-4 225 Grayson HS Loganville, Ga. 2 3 2
Luca Bruno* DL 6-4 280 Oak Park HS Oak Park, Calif. 3 3 3
Pierre Cormier* RB 5-10 180 Madison HS San Diego, Calif. 4 3 4
Ryan Dunn* LB 6-3 210 San Ramon Valley HS Danville, Calif. 3 3 3
Paul Elvira* WR 5-11 175 Marcos De Niza HS Tempe 2 2 2
Samajie Grant* WR 5-10 170 Colony HS Ontario, Calif. 3 3 3
Zachary Green* RB 5-10 210 St. Bonaventure HS Ventura, Calif. 3 3 3
Steven Gurrola* C 6-2 280 Glendale CC Glendale 2 3 3
Devin Holiday* DB 5-10 170 Mission Hills HS San Marcos, Calif. 3 3 3
Prince Holloway CB 5-9 160 Hutchinson CC Hutchinson, Kan. 3 3 3
T.J. Johnson* ATH 5-7 165 Island Coast HS Cape Coral, Fla. 3 3 3
Mauriece Lee* RB 5-8 185 Marcos De Niza HS Tempe 3 3 3
David Maka* DT 6-5 350 Tustin HS Tustin, Calif. 2 3 3
Khari McGee* QB/ATH 6-2 205 Edison HS Fresno, Calif. 3 3 2
DeAndre Miller* LB 6-3 215 Buckeye HS Buckeye 3 3 3
R.J. Morgan* DB 6-2 210 Crater Academy Central Point, Ore. 2 2 2
Nate Phillips* WR 5-9 165 Basha HS Chandler 3 2 2
Jesse Scroggins+ QB 6-1 200 El Camino JC Torrance, Calif. 3 NR 3
Anu Solomon* QB 6-0 195 Bishop Gorman HS Las Vegas 3 4 4
Logan Stott+ OG 6-3 300 Pine View HS Saint George, Utah 3 4 3
Derrick Turituri* LB 6-2 225 Crater Academy Central Point, Ore. 3 2 3
Lee Walker* WR 6-0 175 Madison HS San Diego, Calif. 3 3 2
Philip Wright* LB 6-1 225 Cardinal Newman HS Santa Rosa, Calif. 2 2 2


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