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Ex-Boise State DT Jeff Worthy to get second chance with Arizona Wildcats

The Arizona Wildcats, for the second consecutive day, picked up a commitment from a player who began his career with a perennial Top 25 program.

On Friday, it was former TCU safety Jamie Byrd. On Saturday, former Boise State defensive tackle Jeff Worthy committed to UA.

Worthy, who will be playing at Santa Ana (Calif.) College this season, figures to be one of the best candidates for early playing time in Arizona’s 2014 class, given his age and need for the Wildcats along the defensive front.

Worthy (6-3, 285) was rated a four-star recruit by 247Sports out of Whittier Christian High School in La Habra, Calif., signing with Boise State in 2011 over offers from Nebraska and several Pac-12 schools. He never played with the Broncos, however, redshirting in 2011, suspended for the 2012 season and then dismissed in February soon after being reinstated.

He should arrive at Arizona for the spring semester, with two years to use his remaining two seasons of eligibility. Worthy’s scholarship offers the second time around included Colorado and Fresno State.

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, speaking specifically at the recent Pac-12 Media Day about quarterback Jesse Scroggins (who attended USC before spending last season in junior college), also made a larger point about his philosophy of giving players second chances. (Scroggins, although never ineligible at USC, had some academic issues with the Trojans.)

“I’ve given guys second chances,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know about third and fourth chances.

“But some guys make bad decisions because they’re immature. And some guys make bad decisions because they’re turds. Nobody wants a turd in their program. But if you have a guy who makes a bad decision because he’s immature and he’s going to grow up … I’ve had great success with some of those guys.”

Worthy is the third junior college defender to commit to Arizona in the past three days (Byrd and linebacker Antonio Smothers from Scottsdale Community College are the others) and is the 10th player to commit to the Cats in the past 10 days.

Worthy was a first-team all-state player as a junior and senior in high school, making 19 sacks as a junior and 10 as a senior.

The Wildcats have 22 commitments for the 2014 class. Check below for the updated look, with “star” rankings:

Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School 247 Rivals Scout
Devon Brewer S 6-0 175 Central East, Fresno, Calif. 2 3 3
Jamie Byrd S 5-11 190 Iowa Western CC, Council Bluffs, Iowa 3 3 2
Rodney Carr DB 6-0 185 Salesian High, Los Angeles 4 3 3
Darrell Cloy TE 6-3 220 La Habra (Calif.) High 3 3 3
Jerod Cody DE 6-3 265 Glendale (Ariz.) Community College 3 NR 2
Brandon Dawkins QB 6-3 205 Oaks Christian, Thousand Oaks, Calif. 3 3 3
Cameron Denson WR 6-1 170 Salpointe Catholic, Tucson 4 4 4
Tony Ellison WR 5-11 170 Granite Bay (Calif.) High 3 2 2
Patrick Glover CB 6-1 181 Scottsdale C.C. NR NR 2
Jonathan Haden RB 5-8 189 Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington D.C. 3 3 3
Naijiel Hale CB 5-11 170 St. John Bosco High, Bellflower, Calif. 4 3 4
J.R. Hunt S 6-3 190 Chandler High 3 3 3
Kaige Lawrence OL 6-4 290 Chaffey C.C., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. 3 3 2
Kwesi Mashack CB 5-10 190 Murrieta High, Vista, Calif. 3 NR 3
Jordan Morgan WR 6-2 200 Southridge High, Beaverton, Ore. 3 2 3
Josh Pollack P/K 5-11 165 Highland Park (Ill.) High NR 2 3
Antonio Smothers LB 6-2 230 Scottsdale C.C. 3 4 3
Jace Whittaker DB 5-9 150 Oceanside (Calif.) High 2 3 2
Sharif Williams DT 6-2 300 Central East, Fresno, Calif. 3 NR 3
Nick Wilson RB 6-0 191 Central East, Fresno, Calif. 4 4 4
Trevor Wood TE 6-5 235 Chaparral High, Scottsdale 3 3 3
Jeff Worthy DT 6-3 285 Santa Ana (Calif.) College NR 3 2
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