Arizona Wildcats football: Former Illinois RB commits to UA

2014-05-19T22:00:00Z 2014-05-19T22:01:16Z Arizona Wildcats football: Former Illinois RB commits to UADaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Rich Rodriguez has found his latest reclamation project.

Former Illinois running back Dami Ayoola, a member of the 2015 recruiting class, committed to Rodriguez and the UA on Monday night.

Ayoola, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., played as a true freshman at Illinois in 2012 and rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. He was then dismissed from the team before the 2013 season for violating team rules.

He wasn’t with the Illini for the season, but worked his way back onto the roster in December. However, in early March, Illini coach Tim Beckman announced Ayoola was no longer on the team because he didn’t meet established guidelines.

Ayoola will play the upcoming season at Arizona Western Community College, before enrolling at the UA in time for the 2015 season. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Ayoola was ranked as a three-star prospect and the 27th best running back in the country coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale in 2012.

He chose Illinois over offers from Auburn, Iowa, Kentucky, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Wisconsin and others.

Ayoola is the latest player to choose Arizona after beginning his career at another FBS school. Last month, the UA received a commitment from former LSU defensive end Jordan Allen, who will be eligible to play in 2014.

The Wildcats will have two former LSU players, two former Texas Longhorns and transfers from Notre Dame, USC and Boise State on their roster this fall.

Rodriguez has talked previously about how he enjoys giving players a second chance.

Ayoola is the sixth known commitment for the Wildcats for 2015.

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About this blog

Daniel Berk began covering UA football in 2013 after spending two-plus years as the Star's high school sports coordinator. Previously, he served as the sports editor and NAU beat writer for the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff for three years.

A University of Kansas graduate and St. Louis native, Berk is still getting used to 350 days of sunshine, the relentless "dry heat" of the summer and the fact that Tucson doesn't have a real hockey rink.

Contact Daniel at dberk@azstarnet.com or by calling 573-4330. Follow him on Twitter @DSBerk.

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