Signing Day was 24 hours ago, but the analysis is not done. Here are some thoughts on the 22 newest Wildcats.
LB Rob Hankins is one of the class' gems.
Mike Stoops called this class “typical” and in terms of the players the Cats brought in, that analysis is accurate. When the smoke cleared this class is a lot like the last few classes the Wildcats have brought in. It fills needs, has some intriguing players, but lacks overall star power.
What was not typical was how this class was put together. The 2011 recruiting class was very unique in many ways.
In the end I think this was a solid class, but I would not have thought that 10 days ago.
Arizona made a late push for a number of players and it is a good thing they did. Not only were the Wildcats seriously looking at signing a 17-man class, but they would have had a P.R. nightmare with all of the de-commits.
The Wildcats, boosted by the efforts of new coaches Joe Salave’a, Duane Akina and Robert Anae, got commitments from six players over the final weekend of recruiting.
“We were able to pull together and close with a flurry of players here in the last week and in the last 24 hours holding some players, gaining some players,” Mike Stoops said.
I’d argue of the late players, 3-4 are as good as anyone in the class and they all filled serious needs. Getting two offensive linemen and a junior college place kicker were huge, while guys like Domonique Petties and Cortez Johnson and Patrick Onwuasor are all very talented, key players in the class.
Holding onto running back Ka’Deem Carey was also huge.
Arizona was plagued by de-commits, but for the most part surrived them. Although they lost three defensive back prospects, none of the three were slamdunk stars, and the Wildcat coaches believe that Johnson, was better than the other three players.
Losing Ezekiel Bishop to Arizona State hurts a bit, but mostly because he is headed to the in-state rival. Travis Feeney (Washington) had a lot of upside, but Kerry Swarn may have headed to North Texas because the Wildcats backed off a bit.
Jabral Johnson and Joseph Carter were losses, but the Cats were able to bring in Petties and Aowae DeRego to fill those holes. Carter is not a slam dunk to qualify and has a better chance of getting in now that he is at Nebraska.
The Wildcats were 2-for-2 in Tucson, but only signed one Phoenix area player. While that is a concern, it is not crippling. The Wildcats had just one starter from the Valley of the Sun last year…place kicker Alex Zendejas.
It is hard to judge yet, but Rob Hankins is one of the top linebackers in the nation. Petties had offers from Oklahoma and most of the Big 12. Running backs Jared Baker, Carey and wide out Partrick Onwuasor are all well regarded and explosive. Faitele Faafoi is underrated due to past academic issues, while DeRego has NFL talent.
Stoops loves Johnson and a 6-2 cornerback is always an asset. Dame Ndiaye is a freak athlete, who has only played football for a year. Hank Hobson also has a ton of upside.
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