[ {"id":"e7adb0ec-c426-587d-94f4-1592259dad18","type":"article","starttime":"1484791200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-18T19:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484801768","priority":42,"sections":[{"football":"sports/arizonawildcats/football"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Analyst: Arizona Wildcats' latest commitment could start 'snowball effect'","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/article_e7adb0ec-c426-587d-94f4-1592259dad18.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/analyst-arizona-wildcats-latest-commitment-could-start-snowball-effect/article_e7adb0ec-c426-587d-94f4-1592259dad18.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/analyst-arizona-wildcats-latest-commitment-could-start-snowball-effect/article_e7adb0ec-c426-587d-94f4-1592259dad18.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Zack Rosenblatt\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Tempe defensive end My-King Johnson was originally committed to UCLA.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#top5sports","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"72705"},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"5684bc3f-beba-53aa-ba1b-6fff6bc0a6ea","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/68/5684bc3f-beba-53aa-ba1b-6fff6bc0a6ea/584afcaaaa637.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/68/5684bc3f-beba-53aa-ba1b-6fff6bc0a6ea/584afcaaaa637.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/68/5684bc3f-beba-53aa-ba1b-6fff6bc0a6ea/584afcaaaa637.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/68/5684bc3f-beba-53aa-ba1b-6fff6bc0a6ea/584afcaaaa637.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"e7adb0ec-c426-587d-94f4-1592259dad18","body":"

Recruiting is often driven by momentum.

Last March, Arizona surprised many when it reeled in a verbal commitment from Greg Johnson, the top-rated athlete in the West. That was the first domino in a stretch that saw the Wildcats add commitments from more than 20 recruits through the summer and rise to the top of most rankings of the Pac-12\u2019s recruiting classes.

Then, cornerbacks coach Donte Williams bolted for Nebraska, Johnson decommitted and most of Arizona\u2019s recruiting-related news since the New Year hasn\u2019t exactly been positive, capped by the flipping of quarterback Braxton Burmeister to Oregon just one day before he was set to enroll at UA.

Monday, the Wildcats took their first step to changing the course of their momentum back in the other direction in the days leading up to National Signing Day on Feb. 1.

That\u2019s when Arizona received the King of commitments. That is, My-King Johnson, the top-rated defensive end in the state of Arizona, according to Scout.com.

\u201cRecruits always want to know what their situation is going to be like at the end of the day,\u201d said Scout.com\u2019s Blair Angulo.

\u201cWhen they look at other recruits and where they\u2019re going they want to know who else might be going to school with them so to get a guy like My-King Johnson\u2026 it can create a bit of a snowball effect. It can help things.\u201d

The addition of Johnson helped the Wildcats jump back into the top-half of the Pac-12, rated the 30th best class nationally by Scout and the sixth-best in the conference, notably ahead of both Oregon and Arizona State.

The Tempe High School product is rated three-stars, and his pass-rushing ability as a defensive end \u2014 an area of need for Arizona \u2014 should provide him the opportunity to compete for immediate playing time.

Between Johnson and Mesa Desert Ridge\u2019s Jalen Harris, the Wildcats are bringing in two of the top pass rushers in the state, although Harris recently took official visits to Notre Dame, Washington, Illinois and Colorado. Harris is the son of former Arizona linebacker Sean Harris.

\u201cFrom a stylistic standpoint, I think it\u2019s a great fit because (Johnson\u2019s) pretty good at rushing the passer and that\u2019s something that Arizona has been trying to sell in this recruiting class,\u201d Angulo said. \u201cto get a guy like My-King to pair with another guy from in-state in Jalen Harris, and being able to land another guy it heightens their probability of finding success. They set themselves up nicely.\u201d

As a senior at Tempe, the 6-3, 225 pound Johnson impressively amassed 89 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 21.5 sacks. Johnson also is the rare Arizona commit to hold offers from most of the Pac-12\u2019s elite programs, including USC, UCLA and Oregon.

Johnson took visits to UCLA, Oregon and USC, while also receiving interest from Texas A&M and Washington, which is what made the commitment to Arizona somewhat surprising. Johnson made his decision while on an in-home visit with Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and assistants Charlie Ragle and Vince Amey.

\u201cI\u2019m done with the process,\u201d Johnson told Scout.com. \u201cI\u2019m not going to commit anywhere else. I\u2019m set in stone on this one and set on this commitment.\u201d

Arizona makes offer
to Florida quarterback

The Wildcats took the first step to adding some depth to the quarterback position on Wednesday, offering two-star prospect Nick Tronti a scholarship.

Tronti is a 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound dual-threat quarterback from Ponte Vedra High School in Florida. He was named Mr. Football in Florida after amassing 3,328 passing yards, 650 rushing yards and 53 total touchdowns as a senior. Tronti is currently committed to Charlotte and holds an offer from Indiana.

A year ago, Arizona\u2019s quarterback position might, arguably, have looked like its most stable.

Anu Solomon and Brandon Dawkins were returning, four-star freshman Khalil Tate enrolled early and the Wildcats had both Braxton Burmeister and Rhett Rodriguez in the 2017 pipeline.

Well, a lot has changed since then \u2014 Solomon is transferring to Baylor, Burmeister flipped to Oregon and while both Dawkins and Tate showed flashes last season, both are still works in progress.

Kicker excited about Arizona opportunity

Before Dec. 12, Lucas Havrisik didn\u2019t even have any offers to walk-on and kick in college, let alone scholarship offers.

Havrisik, from Norco, California, stayed patient, he said, since most schools tend wait until the last minute before offering scholarships to kickers.

Portland State had shown interest, but then Ragle, Arizona\u2019s special teams coach, came calling.

About one month later, recruitment over, Havrisik committed to the Wildcats.

\u201c(Ragle) said he\u2019d love to have me, that we can be a great team, that I\u2019d come in there and I can start all four years on kickoffs and field goals,\u201d Havrisik said.

\u201cSo that was an appeal for the U of A, to play all four years in the Pac-12.\u201d

Havrisik will take an official visit to Arizona\u2019s campus this weekend.

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Name: My-King Johnson

Position: Defensive end

Height: 6-3

Weight: 225 pounds

Hometown (high school): Tempe (Tempe)

Rating: Three stars, No. 50 defensive end, No. 8 in the West, No. 1 in Arizona

Other offers: Oregon, UCLA, USC, Texas A&M, Arizona State

2016 stats: 89 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 21.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles

Who he is: The top-rated defensive end in the state of Arizona. Johnson was previously committed to UCLA before he surprisingly flipped to the Wildcats less than three weeks before Signing Day. Johnson faced Catalina Foothills quarterback Rhett Rodriguez, a UA commit, this season and sacked him three times.

How he fits: He fills a need as a talented pass rusher. Johnson is listed at just 225 pounds and could stand to gain some weight, but he has the talent to play right away.

He said it: \u201cHe\u2019s the No. 1 defensive end in the state who is probably ready to step in a role of some sort. They\u2019re going to have to find a way to put him on the field in that defense and get after the quarterback.\u201d \u2014 Scout.com analyst Blair Angulo

"}, {"id":"466352d4-ddd2-11e6-99d1-c316967ac709","type":"article","starttime":"1484783100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-18T16:45:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484783685","priority":40,"sections":[{"blog":"sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Week-by-week breakdown of Arizona Wildcats\u2019 2017 football schedule","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/article_466352d4-ddd2-11e6-99d1-c316967ac709.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/week-by-week-breakdown-of-arizona-wildcats-football-schedule/article_466352d4-ddd2-11e6-99d1-c316967ac709.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/week-by-week-breakdown-of-arizona-wildcats-football-schedule/article_466352d4-ddd2-11e6-99d1-c316967ac709.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":8,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":1,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Michael Lev\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"From Northern Arizona to Arizona State and every game in between on the UA's fall slate.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats football","arizona wildcats football schedule"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"069e4f98-79ac-5acd-977d-8503df7e8cd9","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/69/069e4f98-79ac-5acd-977d-8503df7e8cd9/584afcab71592.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/69/069e4f98-79ac-5acd-977d-8503df7e8cd9/584afcab71592.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/69/069e4f98-79ac-5acd-977d-8503df7e8cd9/584afcab71592.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/69/069e4f98-79ac-5acd-977d-8503df7e8cd9/584afcab71592.image.jpg"}}}],"youtube":[{"id":"e2dd7da9-4a4e-5c69-be8a-9dacac8e639f","starttime":"1484785800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-18T17:30:00-07:00","title":"Who will replace Greg Byrne? Hansen has an idea","description":"Greg Hansen and Ryan Finley discuss how Greg Byrne's departure will affect Arizona's athletic department and what the future has in store. \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0","byline":"","video_id":"y8n2mJfwGkw"}],"revision":10,"commentID":"466352d4-ddd2-11e6-99d1-c316967ac709","body":"

We already knew who the Arizona Wildcats\u2019 2017 opponents were before Wednesday\u2019s big reveal. Bye-bye, Stanford and Washington. Hello, Cal and Oregon.

But how the schedule fits together is just as critical \u2013 maybe even more so \u2013 to a team\u2019s success.

Here are some quick thoughts on each of Arizona\u2019s opponents next season:

SEPT. 2: NORTHERN ARIZONA

Comment: Unlike the \u201916 opener against BYU, this should be a walkover. FCS Northern Arizona went 5-6 last season. When Arizona and NAU last met, on Sept. 19, 2015, the Wildcats won 77-13, setting school records for points and yards (792).

SEPT. 9: HOUSTON

Comment: This won\u2019t be a walkover. Yes, Tom Herman is gone. And yes, the Cougars stumbled down the stretch, losing their final two games. But Houston returns a ton of starters under new coach Major Applewhite, include star DT Ed Oliver.

SEPT. 16: AT UTEP

Comment: If Arizona loses to Houston, this becomes a must-win game. Even if they\u2019re 2-0, the Wildcats might need to be 3-0 in the non-con to attain bowl eligibility (which might be necessary to save Rich Rodriguez\u2019s job). The Miners have had only one winning season in the past 11.

SEPT. 22: UTAH

Comment: Last year\u2019s Pac-12 opener \u2013 a 35-28 OT loss to College Football Playoff participant Washington \u2013 represented the pre-Territorial Cup peak of Arizona\u2019s season. The Utes will be wary of the Wildcats, having lost four in a row in the series before 2016. Two additional items of note: This is a Friday-night game, and it marks the return of LB Cody Ippolito, who transferred from the UA to Utah.

OCT. 7: AT COLORADO

Comment: Arizona will be coming off a bye. Colorado will be coming off a trip to UCLA. So there\u2019s that. The Buffaloes will be one of the most intriguing Pac-12 teams of 2017 after their breakthrough in \u201916 \u2013 although losing their final two games by a combined 79-18 sorta feels like \u201914 Arizona, no?

OCT. 14: UCLA

Comment: Arizona saw first-hand what a healthy Josh Rosen could do in last year\u2019s 45-21 Bruins triumph. He\u2019ll be operating a new offense under Jedd Fisch, who comes to Westwood via Ann Arbor, Michigan. Depending on how things have transpired, there could be a lot of coach-on-the-hot-seat talk on both sides in this matchup.

OCT. 21: AT CAL

Comment: This will be a decidedly different-looking Cal team than the one Arizona defeated 49-45 in 2014. Sonny Dykes and his \u201cBear Raid\u201d offense are out; former Wisconsin and USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is in (to the disbelief of Trojans fans). Cal also will have its third starting QB in as many years.

OCT. 28: WASHINGTON STATE

Comment: The good news \u2013 this can\u2019t possibly go worse than last year\u2019s 69-7 humiliation in Pullman. The bad news \u2013 QB Luke Falk is back. His numbers in two games against the UA are comical: 79 of 97 (81.4 percent) for 825 yards with nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Wildcats might try hitting him a time or two in Round 3.

NOV. 4: AT USC

Comment: This is where the roughest part of Arizona\u2019s schedule begins \u2013 the first of three November road games to close the season. The Trojans lose a ton of talent but return Sam Darnold, who might be the best quarterback in the country. Last year\u2019s 48-14 USC victory snapped a string of nine consecutive one-score games in the series.

NOV. 11: OREGON STATE

Comment: This looks like the most winnable game of the month \u2013 and it might be a game the Wildcats have to win to ensure bowl eligibility. It\u2019s possible Oregon State \u2013 which won its final two games, beating Arizona and Oregon \u2013 will be this year\u2019s Colorado. But that seems premature.

NOV. 18: AT OREGON

Comment: This isn\u2019t a traditional rivalry by any means, but there\u2019s unquestionably some rancor between the schools after Oregon poached two of Arizona\u2019s 2017 commits, including QB Braxton Burmeister. Remember the last time the Wildcats visited Eugene? Things have changed dramatically since, on both sides.

NOV. 25: AT ARIZONA STATE

Comment: Will RichRod and Todd Graham both be coaching for their jobs? Will both schools need to win to reach bowl games? Will ASU\u2019s defense show up? Who will Arizona\u2019s quarterback be by season\u2019s end? So many questions. Far too much time to ponder them.

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A year ago, Arizona's quarterback position might, arguably, have looked like its most stable.\u00a0

Anu Solomon and\u00a0Brandon Dawkins were returning, four-star freshman\u00a0Khalil Tate enrolled early and the Wildcats had both\u00a0Braxton Burmeister\u00a0and\u00a0Rhett Rodriguez\u00a0on the 2017 pipeline.\u00a0

Well, a lot has changed since then \u2014 Solomon is transferring to Baylor, Burmeister flipped to Oregon at the last minute and while both Dawkins and Tate showed flashes last season, both are still works in progress.\u00a0

With the late \"departure\" of Burmeister, the Wildcats were left scrambling for depth at football's most important position. Wednesday, the Wildcats took the first steps to rectify that situation after offering two-star\u00a0Nick Tronti\u00a0a scholarship.

Thankful for an offer from the University of Arizona today! #pac12 pic.twitter.com/PHJfMwoYdz

\u2014 Nick Tronti (@nickyt616) January 18, 2017

Tronti is currently committed to Charlotte, and holds offers from Indiana, Hawaii, Nevada, Marshall and a handful of other lower level FBS programs.

The 6-2, 210 pounder is considered a \"dual threat\" quarterback and an ideal fit for Arizona's offense. From Ponte Vedra High School in Florida, Tronti was named \"Mr. Football\" in Florida after a senior season where he threw for 3,328 yards, 34 touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing for 650 yards and 19 touchdowns.\u00a0

Tronti will likely take an official visit to Arizona at some point before Signing Day on Feb. 1.\u00a0

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The Arizona Wildcats will open Pac-12 play on a Friday next season, according to the schedule released this morning.

Arizona will face Utah in its conference opener on Sept. 22 at Arizona Stadium. The kickoff time for this game and others will be announced at a later date.

Arizona\u2019s non-conference schedule starts with Northern Arizona and Houston at home, followed by a trip to UTEP on Sept. 16.

The Wildcats have a bye after the Utah game before visiting Colorado on Oct. 7. Family Weekend is the following Saturday (Oct. 14). Homecoming is Oct. 28 vs. Washington State.

The toughest stretch for Arizona appears to be the final third of the schedule. The UA plays three of its last four regular-season games on the road, including trips to USC and Oregon. The season-ending Territorial Cup against Arizona State is slated for Nov. 25.

Here\u2019s how Arizona\u2019s 2017 schedule shapes up:

Additionally, Arizona announced that spring practice will begin on Saturday, Feb. 18. An open practice for fans is scheduled for March 2.

"}, {"id":"b7180372-daac-11e6-9b1a-a3f95637e2e2","type":"link","starttime":"1484760600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-18T10:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484761169","priority":43,"sections":[{"football":"sports/arizonawildcats/football"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Breaking down Arizona's 2017 recruiting class, player by player","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/breaking-down-arizona-s-recruiting-class-player-by-player/collection_09aeb928-d797-11e6-94e0-1bc917fd4c3c.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/breaking-down-arizona-s-recruiting-class-player-by-player/collection_09aeb928-d797-11e6-94e0-1bc917fd4c3c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt is previewing Arizona\u2019s recruits in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 national signing day.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#topread","#top5sports","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{"label":"UA FOOTBALL"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"4a7cbc91-5d49-541a-b2c5-1b6efb6f8a07","description":"Tennessee, Nebraska and USC all made late pushes for Nathan Tilford (34) to undo the commitment he made to play for Arizona. On Wednesday, he will begin taking classes at the UA.","byline":"WILL LESTER / Inland Valley Daily Bulletin","hireswidth":1629,"hiresheight":1272,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/a7/4a7cbc91-5d49-541a-b2c5-1b6efb6f8a07/58716f792dae2.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"484","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/a7/4a7cbc91-5d49-541a-b2c5-1b6efb6f8a07/58716f792cabf.image.jpg?resize=620%2C484"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"78","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/a7/4a7cbc91-5d49-541a-b2c5-1b6efb6f8a07/58716f792cabf.image.jpg?resize=100%2C78"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"234","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/a7/4a7cbc91-5d49-541a-b2c5-1b6efb6f8a07/58716f792cabf.image.jpg?resize=300%2C234"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"800","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/a7/4a7cbc91-5d49-541a-b2c5-1b6efb6f8a07/58716f792cabf.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C800"}}}],"revision":8,"url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/breaking-down-arizona-s-recruiting-class-player-by-player/collection_09aeb928-d797-11e6-94e0-1bc917fd4c3c.html"}, {"id":"ff8c4148-dd10-11e6-8499-1f2b13cb942a","type":"article","starttime":"1484698500","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-17T17:15:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484781334","priority":40,"sections":[{"blog":"sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona fans can interact with Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez on National Signing Day","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/article_ff8c4148-dd10-11e6-8499-1f2b13cb942a.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/arizona-fans-can-interact-with-wildcats-coach-rich-rodriguez-on/article_ff8c4148-dd10-11e6-8499-1f2b13cb942a.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/arizona-fans-can-interact-with-wildcats-coach-rich-rodriguez-on/article_ff8c4148-dd10-11e6-8499-1f2b13cb942a.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":2,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Michael Lev\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"RichRod will talk to fans and take questions after the UA's class is announced Feb. 1.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["rich rodriguez","arizona wildcats football","arizona wildcats football recruiting"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"91a491ee-b3a8-11e6-93e4-c764458e31b7","description":"Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, right, will talk to fans on National Signing Day.","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2096,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a491ee-b3a8-11e6-93e4-c764458e31b7/5839375617e4b.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"433","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a491ee-b3a8-11e6-93e4-c764458e31b7/5839375614e2e.image.jpg?resize=620%2C433"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a491ee-b3a8-11e6-93e4-c764458e31b7/5839375614e2e.image.jpg?crop=1722%2C968%2C0%2C32&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a491ee-b3a8-11e6-93e4-c764458e31b7/5839375614e2e.image.jpg?crop=1722%2C968%2C0%2C32&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/1a/91a491ee-b3a8-11e6-93e4-c764458e31b7/5839375614e2e.image.jpg?crop=1722%2C968%2C0%2C32&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"ff8c4148-dd10-11e6-8499-1f2b13cb942a","body":"

Want the scoop on National Signing Day, straight from the head coach\u2019s mouth?

Arizona fans can hear from and ask questions of Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez during a \u201cSigning Day Celebration\u201d event on Feb. 1.

Rodriguez will discuss the 2017 signing class and take questions during the event, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Sands Club at the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. Doors open at 5:30.

Tickets are $10 for Wildcat Club members and season-ticket holders, $20 for the general public. Tickets include admission, appetizers, soft drinks, beer and wine. Fans also can have their picture taken with the Territorial Cup.

Free parking is available in the lots east of Arizona Stadium after 5 p.m. Parking in the Cherry Avenue Garage is $5.

For more information, click here or call 520-621-2287.

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Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt is previewing Arizona\u2019s recruits in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 national signing day. All ratings according to Scout.com.

Name: Rhedi Short.

Position: Safety.

Height: 6-1.

Weight: 175 pounds.

Hometown (high school): Los Angeles (Cathedral).

Rating: Three stars, No. 50 safety, No. 8 West, No. 4 California.

Other offers: UCLA, Oregon, Penn State, Washington, Colorado.

2016 stats: 47 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 12 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles.

Who he is: A former UCLA commit, Short flipped to the Wildcats not long after visiting Arizona\u2019s campus in the fall. He\u2019s expressed some interest in Illinois since, but visited the UA campus over the weekend.

How he fits: Short is one of four safeties in Arizona\u2019s 2017 class, and the Wildcats return a bunch of safeties with experience from last year \u2014 namely, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Tristan Cooper and Isaiah Hayes. Playing time will be hard to come by, though Arizona is desperate for defensive depth.

He said it: \u201cThe biggest thing is, I was most comfortable there (at Arizona). So when I was up there, and I was talking to everybody, it just felt like home.\u201d \u2014 Short

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Good news has been hard to come by lately for Arizona's football program, particularly in the wake of former commit\u00a0Braxton Burmeister\u00a0flipping to Oregon and athletic director\u00a0Greg Byrne\u00a0bolting for Alabama.\u00a0

Monday, the Wildcats managed to deliver a recruiting shocker \u2014 3-star defensive end\u00a0My-King Johnson\u00a0announced a verbal commitment to Arizona, in turn backing out of his commitment to UCLA.\u00a0

\"Just received a great home visit with Coach Rod,\" Johnson tweeted. \"With that being said I have decided to commit to UofA\".

UA coach Rich Rodriguez, special teams coach Charlie Ragle and defensive line coach Vince Amey took an in-home visit with Johnson on Monday.\u00a0

Johnson's decision comes as one of the bigger surprises for Arizona in this recruiting cycle, as Johnson had been committed to UCLA since Jan. 6 and hadn't mentioned Arizona as a finalist previously.\u00a0

Johnson is a huge pick-up for the Wildcats, a team both desperate for talent on the defensive line and to make up ground in keeping talented in-state recruits in Arizona. Johnson, from Tempe, is rated three stars by Scout.com and is the top-rated defensive end in Arizona.\u00a0

Johnson, listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, also had offers from USC, Oregon, Arizona State and Texas A&M.\u00a0

The addition of Johnson brings Arizona's 2017 class back up to 25 players, including kicker\u00a0Lucas Havrisik, who committed to the Wildcats on Sunday.\u00a0

Just received a great home visit with Coach Rod. With that being said I have decided to commit to UofA. #beardown

\u2014 My-King Johnson (@kingj9943) January 16, 2017
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The Arizona Wildcats have added a specialist to their 2017 class, just two weeks before signing day.

Lucas Havrisik, a punter/placekicker from Norco High School in Norco, California, Tweeted Sunday night that he has committed to the UA. Havrisik is rated the No. 12 kicker in the Class of 2017 and a five-star kicking recruit, according to Chris Sailer Kicking.

Sailer, Havrisik's personal coach and a former star at UCLA, wrote the following about the 6-foot-3-inch, 165-pound senior:

\"Lucas is a big time kicking prospect. He is a great athlete with one of the stronger legs in his class. Hits a pure ball off the ground on field goals and is extremely accurate. One of the best field kickers in the nation without a doubt. His kickoffs are strong and consistent. He drives the ball to the back of the end zone with great consistency. He is confident player that does very well under pressure. Lucas also shows great ability as a punter. He has the tools to dominate the D1 level. \"

Havrisik's commitment comes just days after Braxton Burmeister, a four-star quarterback and the top player in Rich Rodriguez's recruiting class, decommitted and enrolled at Oregon.

Havrisik's addition could ease the workload of Josh Pollack, who handled both the punter and placekicker positions for most of the 2016 season. Pollack made nine of 14 field goal attempts, and netted just under 37 yards per punt. Jake Glatting replaced Pollack at punter toward the end of the Wildcats' 3-9 season.

If nothing else, Havrisik could handle kickoffs. Edgar Gastelum, the Wildcats' designated kickoff specialist, suffered a concussion last season and then quit the team.

Arizona coaches are still putting the finishing touches on the 2017 class, which will be unveiled Feb. 1

"}, {"id":"3bd70a5a-79af-5607-83e6-36278212ac91","type":"article","starttime":"1484422200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-14T12:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484441523","priority":35,"sections":[{"football":"sports/arizonawildcats/football"}],"application":"editorial","title":"New Arizona Wildcats TE Bryce Wolma, a RhettRod friend, a likely redshirt candidate","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/article_3bd70a5a-79af-5607-83e6-36278212ac91.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/new-arizona-wildcats-te-bryce-wolma-a-rhettrod-friend-a/article_3bd70a5a-79af-5607-83e6-36278212ac91.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/new-arizona-wildcats-te-bryce-wolma-a-rhettrod-friend-a/article_3bd70a5a-79af-5607-83e6-36278212ac91.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt is previewing Arizona\u2019s recruits in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 national signing day.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"72631"},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"d2d2330f-7710-53c5-bb08-77d73df34283","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/2d/d2d2330f-7710-53c5-bb08-77d73df34283/584afcab9da10.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/2d/d2d2330f-7710-53c5-bb08-77d73df34283/584afcab9da10.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/2d/d2d2330f-7710-53c5-bb08-77d73df34283/584afcab9da10.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/2d/d2d2330f-7710-53c5-bb08-77d73df34283/584afcab9da10.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"3bd70a5a-79af-5607-83e6-36278212ac91","body":"

Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt is previewing Arizona\u2019s recruits in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 national signing day. All ratings according to Scout.com.

Name: Bryce Wolma

Position: Tight end

Height: 6-4

Weight: 230 pounds

Hometown (high school): Saline, Michigan (Saline)

Rating: Three stars, No. 20 tight end, No. 6 Midwest, No. 1 Michigan

Other offers: Colorado, Tennessee, Iowa State, West Virginia, Northwestern

2016 stats: 46 catches, 694 yards, six touchdowns

Who he is: A childhood friend of UA commit Rhett Rodriguez, and one of the best tight ends in the Midwest. Scout.com\u2019s Allen Trieu told the Star that Wolma was a \u201csteal\u201d for Arizona.

How he fits: Wolma will likely redshirt, as it will be tough to emerge as a true freshman. Tight ends Trevor Wood, Jamie Nunley and Brion Anduze returning all return, and freshman Bryce Gilbert is enrolling early and will participate in spring drills.

He said it: \u201cWhen I went out and visited (Arizona) and went to the facility and watched practice and stuff like that, I looked around and thought \u2018this is pretty freakin\u2019 cool\u2019. I wanted to go there.\u201d \u2014 Wolma

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Nothing is guaranteed in recruiting. Four-star quarterback Braxton Burmeister could be a superstar \u2014 or a bust.

But after Burmeister slipped from Arizona\u2019s grasp Friday, there\u2019s no disputing that the Wildcats\u2019 vaunted 2017 class isn\u2019t as strong as it once was.

Once considered the centerpiece of the UA class, or at least the co-headliner, Burmeister is now headed to Oregon. He is the seventh prospect to decommit from Arizona for one reason or another since early December.

Burmeister also is the second consensus four-star prospect to change his mind, joining athlete Greg Johnson, who reopened his recruitment shortly after cornerbacks coach Dont\u00e9 Williams left for Nebraska.

Burmeister\u2019s departure leaves Arizona with only one player considered a four-star prospect by most recruiting websites: running back Nathan Tilford, who already has enrolled at the UA and will take part in spring practice.

The class Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez said could become the best in school history lacks the quality and quantity it had when he first made that proclamation.

\u201cThey did have a chance to have a really special class,\u201d said Greg Biggins, national recruiting analyst for Fox Sports and Scout.com. \u201cI don\u2019t think it was a silly comment to make at the time. But that\u2019s what makes recruiting so unpredictable. You never know what\u2019s going to happen. You never know what a kid is going to do.\u201d

Burmeister was supposed to join Tilford and four others as an early enrollee, starting classes this week. But when Oregon and new coach Willie Taggart swooped in with a late scholarship offer, Burmeister\u2019s plans changed.

His commitment to Oregon marks the second time he has backed out of a pledge to Arizona. The product of La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day School decommitted from the UA in March. About two months later, in an unusual move in the recruiting world, Burmeister recommitted to the Wildcats.

One of the most prolific quarterbacks in California prep history, Burmeister arguably faces a more cluttered path to playing time at Oregon. Justin Herbert emerged as the Ducks\u2019 starter as a true freshman last season, throwing for 1,936 yards and 19 touchdown passes in nine games.

Some believed Burmeister would have had a chance to compete for immediate playing time at Arizona, which returns incumbent starter Brandon Dawkins, a redshirt junior, and promising youngster Khalil Tate, a sophomore. Biggins, for one, didn\u2019t see it playing out that way.

\u201cHe would have fit RichRod\u2019s system to a tee,\u201d Biggins said. \u201cFrom that standpoint, it hurts the depth.

\u201cI think, long range, he had some potential. Do I think he would have come in and beat out Dawkins or Tate next year? No.\u201d

With Burmeister out of the mix, Arizona is left with three scholarship quarterbacks for next season: Dawkins, Tate and Rhett Rodriguez, Rich\u2019s son and an incoming freshman from Catalina Foothills High. The Wildcats officially lost another quarterback earlier this week when veteran Anu Solomon transferred to Baylor.

Arizona could add another quarterback to its \u201917 recruiting class, although that might prove difficult with national signing day (Feb. 1) less than three weeks away.

The Wildcats still have 23 players in the fold with time to add more. But the attrition of the past six weeks is not commonplace and somewhat difficult to explain.

\u201cIt\u2019s unusual,\u201d Biggins said. \u201cWhat makes it unusual is there was no head-coaching change. Typically, you don\u2019t see this many decommits with the same coaching staff (aside from Williams).

\u201cWhen you have that many (early commitments), you run the risk of a little bit of turnover. But you can\u2019t sugarcoat it. It\u2019s definitely not a great way to finish.\u201d

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The Arizona Wildcats\u2019 long, eventful flirtation with four-star quarterback Braxton Burmeister has come to an end.

Burmeister \u2013 verbally committed to Arizona since last spring \u2013 is headed to Oregon. The Ducks, under new coach Willie Taggart, swooped in with a late offer that Burmeister apparently couldn\u2019t refuse.

This is actually the second time Burmeister, from La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day School, has decommitted from Arizona. It happened the first time in March 2015. In a rare move in the recruiting world, Burmeister re-committed to Arizona about two months later.

Burmeister is the second four-star prospect Arizona has lost in the past six weeks, joining cornerback Greg Johnson, who decommitted shortly after cornerbacks coach Dont\u00e9 Williams left for Nebraska.

Burmeister\u2019s departure leaves Arizona with only one quarterback in the 2017 class: Rhett Rodriguez, son of UA coach Rich Rodriguez. However, the Wildcats are expected to pursue another quarterback and could secure a commitment sooner than later.

We'll have more on this developing story later today.

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Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt is previewing Arizona\u2019s recruits in the weeks leading up to the Feb.\u20091 national signing day. All ratings according to Scout.com.

Name: Colin Schooler

Position: Inside linebacker

Height: 6-2

Weight: 220 pounds

Hometown (high school): Mission Viejo, California (Mission Viejo)

Rating: Three stars, No. 16 inside linebacker, No. 2 in the West, No. 1 in California

Other offers: Nevada, Fresno State, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV

2016 stats: 77 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble

Who he is: A late offer from Arizona, Schooler was a standout for a dominant Mission Viejo team. His numbers dropped a bit from his junior to senior season, but that largely happened because the Diablos won 11 games, on average, by 32.9 points per game, often resting starters in the second half.

How he fits: Arizona lost three players with inside linebacker experience \u2014 Cody Ippolito, Michael Barton and Jake Matthews \u2014 and are desperate for immediate impact players. Schooler will compete with fellow incoming freshman Joshua Brown, along with redshirt freshman Jacob Colacion, for playing time.

He said it: \u201cBefore Coach (Marcel) Yates moved to (defensive backs), he told me that they have five linebacker scholarships this year, and they need all of them, and they need every single one of them to be ready to play. I\u2019m excited that they have a spot to compete for there.\u201d \u2014 Schooler

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Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt is previewing Arizona\u2019s recruits in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 national signing day. All ratings according to Scout.com.

Name: Bryce Gilbert

Position: Tight end

Height: 6-4

Weight: 230 pounds

Hometown (high school): Gilbert (Higley)

Rating: Three stars, No. 69 tight end in the country, No. 18 in the West, No. 3 in Arizona

Other offers: Arizona State, Colorado, Louisville, Nebraska, Utah, Oregon State

2016 stats: 15 receptions, 214 yards and four touchdowns

Who he is: An early enrollee and a top in-state recruit. Gilbert missed most of his senior season because of injuries but as a junior amassed 1,056 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.

How he fits: Gilbert will likely redshirt, as the Wildcats are set to return Trevor Wood, redshirt freshman Jamie Nunley and Brion Anduze, who missed last season with a knee injury.

He said it: \u201cThe opportunity to play early because of injuries is a blessing. I\u2019ve got a better opportunity of playing early there (Arizona).\u201d \u2014 Gilbert to the Arizona Republic during his senior season

"}, {"id":"bc45f058-d8f3-11e6-9e42-e71d237ad7d5","type":"article","starttime":"1484245800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-12T11:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484781334","priority":40,"sections":[{"blog":"sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona Wildcats to face Colorado State in home-and-home series in 2027-28","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/article_bc45f058-d8f3-11e6-9e42-e71d237ad7d5.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/arizona-wildcats-to-face-colorado-state-in-home-and-home/article_bc45f058-d8f3-11e6-9e42-e71d237ad7d5.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/arizona-wildcats-to-face-colorado-state-in-home-and-home/article_bc45f058-d8f3-11e6-9e42-e71d237ad7d5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":2,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Michael Lev\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"The Cats and Rams have met 17 times, most recently in 1994.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats football"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"5fb205cf-ffa9-5040-b6f6-e86aceb93e9b","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/fb/5fb205cf-ffa9-5040-b6f6-e86aceb93e9b/584afcab87d82.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/fb/5fb205cf-ffa9-5040-b6f6-e86aceb93e9b/584afcab87d82.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/fb/5fb205cf-ffa9-5040-b6f6-e86aceb93e9b/584afcab87d82.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/fb/5fb205cf-ffa9-5040-b6f6-e86aceb93e9b/584afcab87d82.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"bc45f058-d8f3-11e6-9e42-e71d237ad7d5","body":"

The Arizona Wildcats have announced a future home-and-home football series with Colorado State.

The Wildcats will visit the Rams in Fort Collins on Sept. 4, 2027. CSU will come to Tucson on Sept. 2, 2028.

\u201cWe are excited to announce this series with Colorado State University,\u201d UA athletic director Greg Byrne said in a news release. \u201cThe two schools have a strong history between one another, and renewing this regional matchup will be of great benefit to both programs. We think our fans will enjoy games like this, along with the other strong programs on our future non-conference schedules.\u201d

Arizona and Colorado State have faced each other 17 times dating to 1926. The Wildcats hold a 13-3-1 advantage. The two schools last met in 1994 in Tucson.

Colorado State is a member of the Mountain West Conference and participated in the inaugural Arizona Bowl in December 2015.

Here are all of Arizona\u2019s known future non-conference opponents:

"}, {"id":"a14e3ad0-d84e-11e6-831d-2f727f2eda36","type":"article","starttime":"1484236800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-12T09:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484781334","priority":40,"sections":[{"blog":"sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona Wildcats TE Brion Anduze hopes to play in 2017 after devastating knee injury","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/article_a14e3ad0-d84e-11e6-831d-2f727f2eda36.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/arizona-wildcats-te-brion-anduze-hopes-to-play-in-after/article_a14e3ad0-d84e-11e6-831d-2f727f2eda36.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/arizona-wildcats-te-brion-anduze-hopes-to-play-in-after/article_a14e3ad0-d84e-11e6-831d-2f727f2eda36.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":3,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Michael Lev\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Q&A with the UA redshirt sophomore who missed last season after getting hurt during the first spring practice of 2016.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona wildcats football","brion anduze"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"4cd6337a-13f2-5b26-97c4-26c680a52a1c","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/cd/4cd6337a-13f2-5b26-97c4-26c680a52a1c/584afcab5c4b6.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/cd/4cd6337a-13f2-5b26-97c4-26c680a52a1c/584afcab5c4b6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/cd/4cd6337a-13f2-5b26-97c4-26c680a52a1c/584afcab5c4b6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/cd/4cd6337a-13f2-5b26-97c4-26c680a52a1c/584afcab5c4b6.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"a14e3ad0-d84e-11e6-831d-2f727f2eda36","body":"

Arizona Wildcats tight end Brion Anduze suffered three torn ligaments in his left knee on the first day of spring practice last year. Eleven months later, he\u2019s still working toward a return to the field.

Anduze goes to treatment two times a day and remains hopeful of making his UA debut in 2017 after the gruesome knee injury, which required two surgeries \u2013 one in February and another in August.

Although his football future is uncertain, the redshirt sophomore remains optimistic. He shared his thoughts in a recent interview with the Star:

Did you think when the injury happened that maybe you\u2019d never be able to play again?

A: \u201cOf course. That always goes through your mind sitting in your bed \u2013 you can\u2019t really do anything.\u201d

What do you remember about the play?

A: \u201cI ran a bow route. Jumped up, caught a pass, came down kind of awkwardly. It just kind of folded under me.\u201d

Could you tell right away that something wasn\u2019t right?

A: \u201cOh yeah. Something was really wrong when I saw my knee sideways.\u201d

What\u2019s it like to have to go to rehab/treatment every single day for months on end?

A: \u201cIt got old the first few months. I just kind of said, \u2018You\u2019ve got to do whatever it takes to get back on the field with your teammates.\u2019 That\u2019s really what I missed \u2013 being with my teammates, being on the field playing the game I love. Playing football for X amount of years and then not being able to practice, it sucks. It makes you kind of want it more. Just watching it kills me.\u201d

What kind of timeline are we looking at for a return to the field?

A: \u201cI should be full go during the summer. That\u2019s what the doctors told me.\u201d

Before the injury, the coaches had a lot of praise for you. Did you feel like things were headed on an upward trajectory?

A: \u201cThings were looking pretty good, getting some playing time, maybe starting. Who knows? What can you do? You\u2019ve got to get back on the field.\u201d

"}, {"id":"78420f82-9291-5658-a504-681022bcb2e2","type":"article","starttime":"1484179200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-11T17:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1484242800","priority":35,"sections":[{"football":"sports/arizonawildcats/football"},{"blog":"sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona Wildcats recruiting profile: LB Tony Fields","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/article_78420f82-9291-5658-a504-681022bcb2e2.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/arizona-wildcats-recruiting-profile-lb-tony-fields/article_78420f82-9291-5658-a504-681022bcb2e2.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/arizona-wildcats-recruiting-profile-lb-tony-fields/article_78420f82-9291-5658-a504-681022bcb2e2.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Zack Rosenblatt\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"The fourth in a series on incoming UA football players","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"72392"},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"38e2cd9d-f944-596f-a297-aaae34c65d91","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/8e/38e2cd9d-f944-596f-a297-aaae34c65d91/584afcab05034.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/8e/38e2cd9d-f944-596f-a297-aaae34c65d91/584afcab05034.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/8e/38e2cd9d-f944-596f-a297-aaae34c65d91/584afcab05034.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/8e/38e2cd9d-f944-596f-a297-aaae34c65d91/584afcab05034.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"78420f82-9291-5658-a504-681022bcb2e2","body":"

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has called the 2017 recruiting class potentially the \u201cbest ever\u201d for the Wildcats. Coming off a rough 3-9 campaign, the Wildcats need all the help they can get.

Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt is previewing Arizona\u2019s recruits in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 national signing day. All ratings according to Scout.com.

Name: Tony Fields

Position: Outside linebacker

Height: 6 feet 2 inches

Weight: 205 pounds

Hometown (high school): Las Vegas (Desert Pines)

Rating: 3-star, No. 92 outside linebacker, No. 12 in the West, No. 1 in Nevada

Other offers: Boise State, BYU, Illinois, Missouri, Oregon State, San Diego State, Washington State

2015 stats (2016 unavailable): 93 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries

Who he is: Playmaking outside linebacker with a nose for the ball. High school teammates with two other UA commits: offensive lineman Edgar Burrola and cornerback Tony Wallace.

How he fits: Arizona is desperate for help at linebacker after losing their top five tacklers at the position, and Fields \u2014 already enrolled at UA \u2014 has a chance at immediate playing time on the outside.

He said it: \u201cHe\u2019s great. He\u2019ll make plays. I\u2019ve never seen a player like him, to be so hungry and want to get after it.\u201d \u2014 Burrola


Fields' highlight video on Hudl

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While awaiting the final decision of quarterback Braxton Burmeister, the Arizona Wildcats lost another member of their 2017 recruiting class.

Three-star defensive tackle Austin Faoliu of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California, de-committed from Arizona on Wednesday afternoon.

Faoliu\u00a0took to Twitter to make the announcement.

De-Committed!!! @adamgorney @GregBiggins pic.twitter.com/Wu2hXR3dwj

\u2014 Austin Faoliu (@Faoliu_10) January 11, 2017

\u201cFirst of all, I would like to take the time to give a special thanks to all the coaches at the University of Arizona for recruiting me and giving me a chance to play for them,\u201d Faoliu\u00a0wrote. \u201cI truly appreciate everything they have done for me and believing in me to get business done on and off the field.

\u201cAfter a lot of praying for guidance from the man above and a long conversation with my parents, I have decided to open up my recruiting process again and de-commit from the University of Arizona. This decision was very tough, but I feel this is the best way for me to seek my options.\u201d

Faoliu\u00a0initially committed to Arizona in late September. At the time, he had offers from three Mountain West schools: Colorado State, Hawaii and Nevada. Over the course of his senior year, additional offers came in from Power Five schools, including Washington State.

The Cougars\u2019 defensive line coach, former UA player and coach Joe Salave\u2019a, reportedly is close to leaving WSU for Oregon. The Ducks recently offered Burmeister, who is said to be torn between Eugene and Tucson.

Defensive line is a major position of need for the Wildcats, who lacked bulk at that position last year. The UA has one 2017 defensive lineman already in place: 320-pound junior-college transfer Sione Taufahema, one of five early enrollees. Burmeister, if he chooses to come, would make six.

The only other interior defensive lineman currently committed to Arizona is Kurtis Brown of Bakersfield, California.

Faoliu\u00a0said he would announce his new commitment at the inaugural Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 21.

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As the calendar flipped to 2017, the Arizona Wildcats finally had something to look forward to \u2014 the first day of school.

The players \u2014 or any student, for that matter \u2014 might not be as ecstatic about the start of the spring semester. Arizona\u2019s staff, however, sees a chance to start with a clean slate \u2014 and, following a 3-9 season, a new team.

Four-star running back Nathan Tilford moved into the dorms on Friday, which might\u2019ve been the best news for Arizona in a tumultuous 2017 recruiting cycle.

Four others have \u2014 or will \u2014 join him: linebackers Tony Fields and Jose Ramirez, tight end Bryce Gilbert and junior college defensive lineman Sione Taufahema.

\u201cComing in the spring,\u201d Ramirez said, \u201cthat gives me a better opportunity so that I can play.\u201d

That Arizona has recruits on campus, going to class, is as much good news as anyone can expect right now. It helps that all of them have a chance to contribute right away, too.

However, this week\u2019s good news is tempered by concerns of who isn\u2019t on campus.

Where in the world is Braxton Burmeister?

Put the four-star quarterback in a red hat and you might as well call him Carmen Sandiego.

The La Jolla Country Day star \u2014 and the centerpiece of Arizona\u2019s 2017 class \u2014 was supposed to be on campus by now. Instead, he\u2019s mulling over a last-minute offer from Oregon. Speculation ran rampant over the weekend that Burmeister would flip his commitment.

Burmeister\u2019s camp is offering few details. His parents told the Star on Saturday that he planned to move into the UA\u2019s dorms this week. That night, sources close to the family indicated Burmeister was heading to Oregon.

By Sunday, messages to the Burmeisters went unreturned, and Scout.com reported Burmeister would choose the Ducks within hours. But the night passed without a decision, leading those close to the family to say the Burmeister-to-Oregon move was far from a certainty.

Burmeister has yet to enroll at either school.

His path to playing time is clearer at Arizona, where he would compete with Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate for the starting job. At Oregon, he\u2019d likely sit behind Justin Herbert, who started as a true freshman last fall.

But as the Wildcats wait out Burmeister\u2019s decision \u2014 the quarterback has already decommitted from UA once, in March, only to recommit again in May \u2014 they can still find solace in who has already arrived.

Namely, Tilford, the talented running back from Colony High School in Ontario, California, rated Arizona\u2019s highest recruit by all the recruiting services.

Tilford told the Star last week that he had wanted to enroll early for a while, but the plan was set in motion fairly recently. Finishing up his classwork in time to come to UA early was \u201ccrazy\u201d he said.

\u201cI realized with the opportunity I have \u2026 just go for it,\u201d Tilford said. \u201cWhat\u2019s the worst that could happen? You\u2019re going to be in college, your high school season is done. So it\u2019s just finish up and go.\u201d

Fields and Ramirez might be even more relevant to the immediate future than Tilford, given the position they play.

Senior linebacker Cody Ippolito announced Monday that he was transferring to Utah; the same day, fellow linebacker John Kenny left the team. The departure of seniors Paul Magloire, Michael Barton and Jake Matthews leaves the Wildcats without their top five tacklers at linebacker from 2016. The only experienced returner is DeAndre\u2019 Miller, but he comes with injury concerns. Miller played just six games last year.

Inside linebackers Josh Brown and Colin Schooler and outside linebackers Kylan Wilborn and Jalen Harris are set to join the team this summer.

By then, Fields and Ramirez will have gone through an offseason training program and spring drills.

Those are just two of the advantages of enrolling in January. Tate, safety Isaiah Hayes and linebacker Kahi Neves all enrolled early a year ago, and the first two received significant playing time in the fall.

\u201cSince I\u2019m coming in early, knowing they lost linebackers, it makes it better chance for me to play,\u201d Ramirez said.

Gilbert, from Gilbert\u2019s Higley High School, is the most likely to redshirt of the bunch, as Arizona has Trevor Wood, Brion Anduze and Jamie Nunley returning at tight end.

The Wildcats will be able to use Taufahema\u2019s size on the defensive line right away.

Listed at 320 pounds, Taufahema, from College of the Canyons, is already Arizona\u2019s heaviest defensive lineman.

\u201cI think I\u2019m prepared to come in and win a starting spot,\u201d Taufahema said. \u201cJust being a junior college guy going up against other Division I prospects is going to help me a lot just to come in and play right away.\u201d

Burmeister is not in Tucson yet \u2014 or Eugene, for that matter. The rest is going according to plan.

For a moment, Arizona\u2019s coaches can find some solace in that.

\u201cA lot of people are asking: \u2018You\u2019re about to be in college, how do you feel?\u2019 \u201d Tilford said. \u201cIt\u2019s freaking crazy, dude.\u201d

"} ]