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Arizona football: Fresno DT joins long list of '14 commits

2013-07-29T00:00:00Z Arizona football: Fresno DT joins long list of '14 commitsDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Arizona Wildcats still have more than six months to add pieces to their 2014 football recruiting class. But it sure doesn't seem like they're going to need all that time.

The UA added their 19th commitment for 2014 on Sunday in Fresno, Calif., defensive tackle Sharif Williams.

Williams, listed at 6 feet 3 inches and 320 pounds, is the first defensive tackle to commit to the UA for 2014. He brings some much-needed size to the Wildcats front.

He's the fifth recruit to commit to the UA since Saturday.

Like the four players that committed the day before, Williams was in Tucson this weekend for the opening of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility.

After talking it over with his mom Saturday night, Williams decided to let coach Rich Rodriguez know he wanted to commit Sunday morning at breakfast.

"He said they've been wanting to get me since the beginning," Williams said. "I talked to my mom about it and she said it was up to me, so I decided to pull the trigger. Coach Rodriguez was happy to get me."

Williams is the third player from Central High School in Fresno to commit to the UA for 2014. He joins four-star running back Nick Wilson and three-star safety Devon Brewer as future Wildcats.

The defensive tackle said having the two players already on board was a big part of his decision.

"It was a big factor knowing that I can be with my friends for another four years," said Williams, whose Central High team will have its season opener on Aug. 24 televised by ESPN2. "I might even get to live with them. They're two of my best friends and it feels great knowing that I get to keep playing with them."

Williams said he chose the Wildcats over Cal. He also had offers from Fresno State, Houston, San Jose State and San Diego State.

The tackle said another reason he liked Arizona was defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich - a man with more than 30 years of experience.

"He's a good dude and he's trained a lot of good nose guards," Williams said. "I really liked him. I really liked Coach Rodriguez. The facilities are top notch. The field is top notch. It just felt like the perfect fit for me."

The 19 commitments for the UA are by far the most of any Pac-12 school. Stanford is the next closest with 10 and the only other team in double digits. UCLA has just three pledges so far. National signing day is in early February.

Having players verbally commit early is nothing new for Rodriguez and the Wildcats. The UA had 18 verbal commitments before Aug. 1 last season and finished with 26 commits total.

The Wildcats could still add a couple more players this week that were in Tucson for the Lowell-Stevens event.

Staying busy

The Arizona Wildcats have received six verbal commitments since Thursday and now have 19 players on board for the 2014 recruiting class. A look at the six players the UA added and which day they committed:

• Brandon Dawkins, QB, Westlake Village, Calif., Thursday

• Trevor Wood, TE, Scottsdale, Saturday

• Darrell Cloy, TE, La Habra, Calif., Saturday

• Kwesi Mashack, CB, Norco, Calif., Saturday

• J.R. Hunt, S, Chandler, Saturday

• Sharif Williams, DT, Fresno, Calif.,Sunday

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

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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