The Arizona Wildcats received a signing-day surprise this morning, when Scottsdale Chaparral defensive end Dylan Cozens — one of the state's top players — bucked offers from Boise State and Washington and verbally committed to the UA.
The Scout.com recruiting service lists the 6-foot-5-inch, 235-pound Cozens as a three-star recruit. He was also weighing offers from Washington, Arizona State, Indiana, Missouri, UCLA and Utah. He registered 45 tackles and 7 ½ sacks as a senior at Chaparral, his only season of high school football. Cozens grew up playing baseball, and remains a major prospect: He's expected to play college baseball at the UA, too.
Cozens is the second Chaparral player to commit to the Wildcats' 2012 recruiting class. A third, star wide receiver Davonte Neal, is Arizona's top remaining target: He's not expected to pick his school until after visiting Arizona Feb. 10.
Former Chaparral coach Charlie Ragle is Arizona's new liaison to in-state football programs. Cozens told FoxSportsArizona.com that he "wouldn't be here" if it wasn't for Ragle.
Cozens' commitment was welcome news on a day when another top UA target, Chandler Hamilton's Jaxon Hood, opted to sign with conference rival Arizona State. He was considering both in-state schools and Boston College.
The Wildcats are still awaiting word from Ontario (Calif.) Colony star Bryan Harper, a multi-position athlete who could fill any number of holes.
The UA, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington have all offered Harper scholarships as a wide receiver or cornerback. He also has experience as a dual-threat quarterback: Harper threw for 604 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 397 yards and three touchdowns as a junior, but his season was cut short by a broken collarbone after just four games. He was fully healthy as a senior, and threw for 505 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 647 yards and six scores.
Harper is expected to make his decision this afternoon.