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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Arizona tacks on 2 more commits for ’09 class

    UA wide out Mike Thomas looks to dash downfield during a 17-10 USC win at Arizona Stadium on Saturday night. Thomas made six catches in the game, raising his career total to 233, which was good enough to surpass Bobby Wade (1999-2002) as the Wildcats all-time receptions leader.
    UA wide out Mike Thomas looks to dash downfield during a 17-10 USC win at Arizona Stadium on Saturday night. Thomas made six catches in the game, raising his career total to 233, which was good enough to surpass Bobby Wade (1999-2002) as the Wildcats’ all-time receptions leader.

    While the Arizona football team’s 17-10 loss to No. 6 USC Saturday night put a severe dent in its Rose Bowl chances, the setback did not appear to hurt its recruiting: the program picked up two more highly-touted recruits Saturday.

    Prior to the Wildcats’ Homecoming showdown with the Trojans, both four-star running back Daniel Jenkins and two-star tight end Terrence Miller informed the Arizona coaching staff of their decision, according to GOAZCATS.com. The commitments come just days after the Wildcats received two other commitments from three-star offensive lineman Chris Putton and unrated defensive back Marcus Benjamin.

    Last week Jenkins publicly stated he would likely commit during his official visit this past Saturday and, true to his word, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound tailback did just that, giving Arizona its second four-star commit for its class of 2009.

    “”I want to be a part of the Wildcat family,”” Jenkins told GOAZCATS.com. “”I have been struggling with it but … it has been something that was eventually going to happen.””

    Jenkins, a Moreno Valley, Calif., native, was highly recruited by a slew of schools, including three in the Pacific 10 Conference. The running back has been a two-time all-league selection while playing at Rancho Verde High School and has moved his way to No. 12 on the Rivals.com list of the top 100 all-purpose backs in the class of 2009.

    Along with Jenkins, Arizona’s second commit from the weekend was Miller, a 6-foot-4, 214-pound tight end who also received a scholarship offer from Utah.

    But following his visit this past weekend, along with his high school teammate Jenkins, Miller chose to commit to Arizona, saying, “”I like the way I am going to be used as an H-back and how I will be put out as a wide receiver. I like that versatility.””

    Thomas breaks UA

    reception record

    In three consecutive plays, Arizona receiver Mike Thomas approached, tied and passed former Wildcat Bobby Wade’s mark of 230 career receptions.

    Despite Thomas’ uncharacteristically quiet night, in which the senior hauled in only six catches for 45 yards, he still managed to make Arizona history as he moved into sole possession of the title with his 233rd career grab, passing Wade’s six-year-old mark.

    “”Mike can do it all and I just do everything I can to try and get him the ball,”” said UA quarterback Willie Tuitama. “”He is a special player and he always does a good job of giving us a spark.””

    After the game, Thomas had little to say about the record, saying that after the loss, the achievement meant “”not a thing.””

    “”It’s kind of meaningless right now,”” Thomas said. “”I’ll go back and look at it later.””

    One of the reasons for the lack of production for Thomas on Saturday night was added focus from the Trojans, and with good reason, as the 5-foot-8, 195-pound receiver currently leads the conference in receptions per game (six) and receiving yards per game (76.75).

    “”(Thomas) had six balls in the first half so everybody knew he was the guy getting all the footballs,”” said USC head coach Pete Carroll. “”So on all of our coverages, whenever we had a chance we really wanted to take care of him.””

    Trojan linebacker Rey Maualuga also expressed his respect for the Arizona wide out.

    “”Coming into the game the two guys we really had our eye on were (Thomas) and (tight-end Rob Gronkowski),”” Maualuga said. “”Coach (Carroll) said they were (Arizona’s) go-to receivers, so we really focused on shutting them down.””

    Zona Zoo becoming

    true 12th man

    The Arizona student section was filled to capacity for Saturday’s homecoming showdown with USC, and the raucous crowd did more than just make trouble for the University of Arizona Police Department.

    After the game, the Trojans’ quarterback Mark Sanchez praised the Zona Zoo section, saying he felt the fans made Arizona Stadium “”one of the toughest places he’s ever played.””

    “”It’s a tough environment,”” Sanchez said of playing on the Wildcats’ home turf. “”Hats off to their crowd and their student section making it loud. They were really making it tough on us at times.””

    The crowd not only impressed the visiting Trojans, but also possible incoming recruits as well. Taking his official visit to Tucson last weekend was four-star defensive lineman Latu Heimuli who cited Arizona students as a positive point of emphasis on his trip.

    “”I sat in front of the student section,”” Heimuli told Mike Matya of HuskersIllustrated.com. “”Their students line up two hours before the game, and around 10 thousand of them get in. I’d probably put the visit up around an eight or nine (out of 10).””

    – The Arizona Daily Wildcat

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