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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Football to announce 2007 recruits today

    A third-straight national top-20 recruiting class may be wishful thinking for Arizona, but it may get close in one respect by the end of today, NCAA national signing day for football.

    As the Wildcats prepare to announce their 17-player haul, currently ranked No. 40 by recruiting Web site rivals.com, the team is waiting to learn the destination of Reggie Dunn, a four-star wide receiver from Los Angeles.

    Dunn’s addition could push Arizona into the national top 25 in terms of recruit quality, said Dallas Jackson, Pacific 10 Conference editor for rivals.com.

    “”The quality of the class is very solid,”” he said. “”It’s probably right on par with (California) in the Pac-10.””

    Although the nation’s top classes will inevitably be judged by their size, a more important evaluator is recruits’ average stars, based on a five-star scale, Jackson said.

    Entering today, Arizona’s recruits average 3.06 stars, tied for 27th nationally with Louisville and Texas A&M.

    Bringing on Dunn, who is also considering six other Pac-10 schools, would push that number up only a few hundredths of a percent but still enough to leapfrog ahead of many teams, Jackson said.

    The group of victims could include UCLA and Washington, which are ranked fourth and fifth in the conference, respectively.

    The Wildcats, at sixth, have a chance to move up as high as third behind USC and Oregon.

    “”They certainly can and most likely will,”” Jackson said.

    Whether that happens depends on the fates of not only Dunn but also Nai Fotu, a two-star linebacker from Kahuku, Hawaii, who is still considering the Wildcats after committing to Utah Jan. 16.

    Prospects have until April 1 to sign national letters of intent with schools, but a few factors can stave off a decision.

    “”It might just be a case of wanting to feel things out, waiting for the feeling,”” said Jeremy Crabtree, a national recruiting analyst for rivals.com. “”You always see that kids say they have a feeling for some school.””

    Some athletes wait to commit – or de-commit from a school, depending on the situation – until they can score high enough on the SAT or ACT to qualify academically, Jackson said.

    The NCAA requires incoming Division I freshman athletes to score at least a combined 820 on the verbal and math sections of the SAT or a combined score of 68 on the English, math and science sections of the ACT. They must also have at least a 2.0 grade point average.

    Whatever the circumstances, “”99.9 percent”” of athletes send in their letters of intent today because they know where they want to go and wish to get the process over with, Crabtree said.

    Undecided recruits have left Arizona hanging on signing day in recent years, mostly with unfavorable results.

    In 2004, the Wildcats had a verbal commitment from highly touted offensive lineman Jeremy Perry, but he hesitated with his decision and ended up signing with Oregon State instead.

    The following year, Arizona had its sights set on four athletes but landed only linebacker Adrian McCovy.

    The only recruit who may stand up the Wildcats this spring is offensive lineman Sione Tau, who verbally committed in late November but has been courted lately by Colorado, said Josh Gershon of goazcats.com, a Web site on the Rivals network.

    Dunn and Fotu are Arizona’s main known targets at this point, but other athletes may slip in the door as well, Gershon said.

    Regardless, Arizona’s last-minute shopping shouldn’t be construed as a sign of weakness in its class.

    “”It might just mean they just didn’t fill one need at one position, and they can find someone a little bit later,”” Crabtree said. “”College football (recruiting) is all about filling your needs.””

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