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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Football gains, loses key recruits”

    The Arizona football team continued a drought from the postseason that dates all the way back to 1998 but they still had their hands full during the bowl season.

    Even with no games remaining on their schedule, the Wildcats’ coaching staff continued to pursue highly coveted recruits, while losing a few to archrival ASU.

    The Wildcats currently have 21 verbal commitments and a few players still in the picture.

    The following is a breakdown of the key recruits in the 2008 class heading into national letter-of-intent day on Feb. 6.

    Scott’s verbal commitment remains strong with UA

    Despite being heavily pursued by various other schools – including Michigan, Oregon, and ASU – dual-threat quarterback Matt Scott’s verbal commitment to Arizona remains firm.

    Scott is considered the Wildcats’ most promising recruit, as he was one of seven finalists for the Joe Montana Quarterback of the Year Award, given annually to the country’s best high school quarterback.

    “”I just thought (Arizona) was a good opportunity for me,”” Scott told the Wildcat in June. “”I was the first quarterback they took (for the class of 2008), so I feel like I have an advantage over the other quarterbacks going in.””

    The four-star recruit out of Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School is expected to redshirt his freshman year in 2008 and take over the quarterback duties once current signal caller Willie Tuitama graduates.

    Bass decommits, gives verbal to ASU

    The Wildcats weren’t fortunate enough to hold onto another valuable recruit in Scott’s high school teammate, running back Ryan Bass.

    Bass is another four-star recruit out of Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School, and the latest to back out of his verbal commitment from Arizona and commit to ASU. He rushed for 2,351 yards and 36 touchdowns in his senior year at Centennial.

    Bass, listed as the No. 2 all-purpose tailback in the nation by recruiting service Rivals.com – announced the news Sunday after taking an official visit to Tempe.

    “”I love (ASU) coach (Dennis) Erickson,”” Bass told Rivals.com. “”That’s where I really want to play. I’ve felt like that for a long time now. My parents loved it there too.””

    Robinson also bolts UA for ASU

    Though Gerrell Robinson was once firmly committed to Arizona, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior out of Chandler Hamilton High School also decided that ASU was a better fit.

    Robinson is known for his versatility, as he has played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back.

    Robinson told the Wildcat in June that he had full intentions of pursuing the quarterback position at Arizona, and that he wasn’t worried about any competition with Scott.

    “”I am not really worried about (the competition), because I know what I can do,”” Robinson said. “”I am ready to step in and show that once I learn the offense, I know I can add another dimension in not only passing, but also in the run game.””

    Later in the recruiting process, Robinson said he was going to play receiver in college instead.

    Robinson also said before the season that if Arizona didn’t win eight games this season, he would field offers from other schools. He kept his word, as Arizona finished 5-7 (4-5 Pacific 10 Conference).

    Robinson was still seen at Arizona’s practices throughout the season.

    Golden still verbally committed

    ðRobert Golden has been an Arizona man since day one.

    Despite decomitting to weigh his options during the Wildcats’ losing season, Golden recommitted in mid-December after it was apparent Arizona would not be partaking in this year’s postseason.

    Golden told the Wildcat in June in the midst of rumors that he was considering other schools that Arizona is where he will play his college ball.

    He flip-flopped on his commitment throughout the 2007 season when rumors swirled that UA head coach Mike Stoops would be fired.

    The defensive back out of Edison High School in Fresno, Calif., helped Arizona in the recruiting process, making attempts to contact players who showed interest in the Wildcats.

    Golden also received offers from ASU, California, Fresno State, Minnesota and UCLA.

    He is expected to follow in the footsteps of departing seniors Antoine Cason and Wilrey Fontenot.

    Other notable UA recruits with verbal commitments:

  • Solomon Koehler, OL, 4 Stars
  • Vuna Tuihalamaka, LB, 4 Stars
  • Keola Antolin, RB, 3 Stars
  • Juron Criner, WR, 3 Stars
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