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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona’s 2010 class as advertised

Mike Christy
The University of Arizona football team takes part in morning practice Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at the Rincon Vista Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. The Wildcats look to reach a bowl game for the third season in a row with quarterback Nick Foles at the helm. (Photograph by Mike Christy)

Back in early February when Arizona inked a slew of big names on National Signing Day, it made for one of the most touted recruiting classes in the program’s history.

Heading into the 2010 college football season, it still remains to be seen what impact these youngsters will have on the field, but after working through a full training camp it became clear that the hype is warranted.

“”I think (the freshman class) is by far and away our most diverse class, and probably our best class we’ve had since we’ve been here,”” said head coach Mike Stoops on the second day of training camp. “”There’s some very, very talented freshmen all the way through. I’m really pleased with the overall skill level, strength, size and speed.””

The Wildcats added talent, youth and depth at seemingly every position with their 2010 recruiting class — a class headlined by Arizona’s No. 1 high school player Marquis Flowers out of Millennium High School in Goodyear.

Flowers, who is currently listed at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, is unbelievably polished for an 18-year-old, and that seems to be a theme throughout the entire class.

“”They’re more skilled. They’re more developed,”” Stoops said as he compared the 2010 class to the usual crop of newcomers.

Stoops went on to cite the prestige of certain high school programs as the reason for the quick development. And that development is what may very well land these recruits on the field early and often this season.

Flowers should be vying for a starting job at safety, while freshmen defensive backs Shaquille Richardson and Jonathan McKnight could see some significant time.

Wide receivers Austin Hill and Tyler Slavin, both out of Roosevelt High School in California, could also see the field.

Having at least five true freshmen entering the season with a chance to play is another step forward on Stoops’ recruiting trail after 2009 saw four true freshmen — Adam Hall, Taimi Tutogi, Terrence Miller and Jake Fischer — earn a varsity letter.

The Wildcats also feature a handful of junior college transfers that could come in and start, including linebackers Derek Earls and Paul Vassallo.

Needless to say, the 2010 Arizona recruiting class is shaping up to be one of the most memorable in school history.

“”Man, they’re all talented. This is the best class that I’ve seen since I’ve been here, besides our class,”” said fifth-year senior defensive end Brooks Reed on the sixth day of camp. “”There might be up to five guys playing this year as freshmen.””

Junior wide receiver David Douglas added: “”We got some great guys in this year. Our recruiting class has really come in here working hard and doing a good job, so we’re excited about those guys.””

The 2010 recruiting class is turning some heads already and these youngsters should make quite the impact on the field this season, but the bigger theme is that Arizona is finally stating its name as a program and luring in top-notch recruits.

In fact, the Wildcats have already committed 14 high school players to the 2011 class, including quarterback Daxx Garman, linebacker Rob Hankins and Canyon Del Oro running back Ka’Deem Carey. In recent years Arizona would commit only three or four recruits around this time of year, but after back-to-back bowl appearances, the Wildcats are now a legitimate contender for highly touted recruits.

So while the current installation of Arizona football is aiming for a Rose Bowl appearance, the coaching staff has set the program up nicely for the years to come.

Arizona will lean on this hyped 2010 class throughout the season, but after showcasing its massive talent in training camp, with time the young Wildcats should deliver.

“”We’re further ahead with the younger players than we ever have,”” Stoops said. “”They continue to impress just all the way around. They’re going to make it hard on some of these older guys and that’s really what you want in your program.””


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