Arizona football: Change of plans puts safety on UA campus

2013-06-29T00:00:00Z Arizona football: Change of plans puts safety on UA campusDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Had things worked out the way they were supposed to, Jarvis McCall would be preparing for his second season at the University of South Florida after a successful freshman campaign. He'd be wearing USF's green and gold colors and would be about as far away from Tucson as possible.

But things didn't work that way.

The safety from Seffner, Fla., was ruled academically ineligible for the 2012 season and was forced to sit out. Rather than attend a junior college and wait a year or two to enroll at South Florida, McCall went another route. He worked out with a trainer every day and prepared to retake his SAT so he could get into a Division I school as soon as possible.

He recently received a qualifying score on the SAT; soon after, McCall pulled an about-face on his recruiting.

He committed to the Arizona Wildcats on Monday.

"It was a great feeling," McCall said this week. "I knew I could get eligible. It was my only focus. When I found out, it was a weight off my shoulders, and I felt ready to go."

And the decision to move across the country to Tucson reflects McCall's opinion of coach Rich Rodriguez and his desire for a fresh start.

"He was honest and up front with me the whole time," McCall said. "I really liked talking to him, and it felt like a great fit."

McCall is ranked as a three-star prospect by the recruiting service and had offers from Indiana and Central Florida on top of USF coming out of high school. He'll be eligible to play right away and will report to Tucson next week.

His commitment was one of five the UA received earlier this week. McCall was the only 2013 recruit of the bunch with the other four in the 2014 recruiting class.

Here's a recap of the UA's busy recruiting week:


Commitment: Rodney Carr, DB, Los Angeles

Résumé: The defensive back is rated as the 44th best cornerback in the country by Scout and is a three-star recruit. He had offers from Colorado State, Houston, Idaho, SMU and San Jose State.

The lowdown: Carr was offered by Rodriguez and the UA on Saturday while he was in town and committed one day later. He's considered to be an athletic cornerback, who has the versatility to play multiple positions in the secondary. He's high school teammates with two more UA targets Jamardre Cobb and Marquis Ware, who are both still deciding.


Commitments: McCall and Jace Whittaker, ATH, Oceanside, Calif.

Résumés: McCall was ranked as the 109th-best safety in the country by Scout coming out of high school in 2012. Whittaker isn't ranked by Scout, but had offers from Boise State, Nevada, San Diego State and Washington State.

The lowdown: Whittaker was being recruited both as a receiver and a safety by several schools. He'll likely stick to defense for the UA, but has the hands and athleticism to help on offense if it goes that way. He's planning to visit the UA next month and said he's not interested in taking any other visits. When McCall reports, he'll try to compete for playing time right away in the defensive backfield.


Commitments: Josh Pollack, K, Highland Park, Ill., and Tommy Ellison, WR, Granite Bay, Calif.

Résumés: Pollack had interest from Iowa State, Miami (Ohio) and Indiana but committed to the UA after it extended a scholarship offer. His biggest strength is his ability to both kick and punt. He'll likely do both when he first arrives in Tucson. Ellison isn't ranked by Scout but had offers from Fresno State and Wyoming.

The lowdown: Like Whittaker, Ellison will visit Tucson soon on an official visit. He's a slot receiver and kick returner and jumped on an early offer from Rodriguez. He told Scout he was "100 percent sold on joining the University of Arizona" and won't take any other visits. Pollack was offered last week while he was in Tucson for the team's prospect camp and committed on the spot.

On StarNet: Follow the Cats through the offseason on Daniel Berk's blog at

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk

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