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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Rich Rod says signing day ‘fulfilled a lot of needs and wants’

Rebecca Noble
Arizona fans cheer on the wildcats during their 56-30 loss to UCLA on Sept. 26, 2015. Arizona coach Rich Rod signed a defensive heavy recruiting class for 2016-2017 on Tuesday.

The most essential step to improving as a program, especially in the up-and-coming Pac-12 Conference, is to snag the cream of the crop in high school football.

National signing day was the final day of the recruiting madness, and even though Arizona didn’t have any recruits committing with a paintball video or using animals that resemble the team’s mascot, the Wildcats rallied in a 2016 class with potential.

“I think we fulfilled a lot of needs and wants with this class,” Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “I believe these are great additions and we are very excited to officially welcome them into our program.”

Rodriguez and newly hired defensive coordinator Marcel Yates had less than a month together to recruit, but made the best out of the situation by signing a defensive heavy recruiting class.

With so many injuries on the defensive side of the ball, Rodriguez didn’t bring in the best of the bunch, but he did sign a large quantity of defensive players that are known as “our kind of guy” or “OKG.”

Yates, who is bringing to Arizona a new 4-2-5 defense, landed one of his key targets in junior college defensive end Josh Allen, who was also considering Boise State according to the recruiting website

Allen is 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds and will quickly add another dimension to the new defense.

“If we’re taking a JC guy it’s usually because we desperately need something at that position,” Rodriguez said.

Arizona also signed four safeties including three-star Chacho Ulloa, who switched from Stanford to Arizona just moments before signing day ended.

Two three-star outside linebackers, Jacob Colacion and Jalen Cochran, also add length and athleticism to Arizona’s secondary.

Defense was a liability last season for the injury-plagued Wildcats, so adding 13newcomers to the defense is providing insurance for the future.

On, Arizona’s 2016 class is listed at No. 10 in the Pac-12, but diamond in the rough players is what Rodriguez desires considering what Scooby Wright did at Arizona.

The future of the 2016 class at Arizona is uncertain, but the potential is extremely high.

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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