Two more defenders commit to UA football for ’08

Sean Westgate

Sean Westgate

Ari Wasserman

The Arizona football team has been working diligently to put together a solid class for the 2008 season, and its hard work is paying off.

The Wildcats received two more verbal commitments Wednesday from safety Sean Westgate and defensive tackle Chris Merrill, enlarging its class to nine members.

Westgate, who had narrowed down his choices to Boise State and Arizona, said he finally chose the Wildcats because they play in the Pacific 10 Conference and have high-quality coaches.

“”When I was at Boise State (for a recruiting visit) it just didn’t give me that good overall feeling,”” said the 5-foot-11, 197-pound defensive back from Oak Park, Calif. “”When I went to Arizona, it just gave me that feeling. With Mike and Mark Stoops, I feel like they can make a really good player out of me.””

Westgate will join four-star recruit Robert Golden in the Wildcats’ 2008 secondary. Golden, who helped persuade Westgate to attend Arizona, verbally committed to Arizona May 4 and said last week he is positive he will join the Wildcats in 2008.

He has made continuous attempts to help Arizona recruit interested players by calling and persuading them to become Wildcats.

“”I talked to (Golden) on (MySpace), and he was a solid player,”” Westgate said. “”I talked to him a while ago when he first made his commitment, and he was just telling me that he really liked (Arizona) and how good their secondary coaches are.””

Although Westgate may have been a player who flew under the radar, the three-star recruit said he has much confidence in his ability and even more in the Wildcats.

“”It is exciting that I am coming down with an already solid recruiting class,”” said Westgate, who can play at both the cornerback and the nickel back positions. “”With all of the talent that is already there, I feel like we can do something special.””

Merrill finished his junior season at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., with 73 tackles and 21 sacks.

The two-star recruit had just finished an unofficial visit to Arizona when he made his decision to become a Wildcat. Although he has had extensive experience at offensive line in high school, the Wildcats intend to utilize him as a defensive player.

“”We got done with the tour and everything, and I’ve really been thinking about it a lot,”” the 6-foot-1, 255-pound defensive tackle told www.goazcats.com. “”It’s a great match. It’s close to home, and my parents are going to be able to come down and support me.””