Arizona football notebook: Cats land DC running back Haden for '14

2013-05-25T00:00:00Z Arizona football notebook: Cats land DC running back Haden for '14Daniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

For the last couple of weeks, running back Jonathan Haden has been ready to end his recruitment and commit to a school.

With offers from Arizona, Ohio State, Tennessee, Illinois, North Carolina and others, he was starting to zero in on the Wildcats.

So last week, the Washington, D.C., product called his older brother, Joe, a cornerback with the Cleveland Browns and a former All-American at Florida, and told him he was thinking about committing to the UA.

"He talked to one of his teammates (Trevin Wade), who went to Arizona and asked him what he thought," Haden said Friday. "(Wade) said nothing but good things about Arizona and said it was a good place. Joe said he would support my decision if I decided to do it."

After the conversation with his older brother, Haden came to Tucson last weekend for a visit with an idea he was going to commit to Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats.

After a nearly two-hour conversation with Rodriguez and assistants Tony Dews and Calvin Magee, Haden decided to pull the trigger and commit.

The 5-foot-8-inch, 180-pound back is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com recruiting service and the 77th best player at his position.

"I'm very excited about it," Haden said. "When I talked to this coaching staff, they just seem so genuine and real. It wasn't like that with all the schools, especially some of the bigger ones."

Haden is the fourth 2014 prospect to commit to the UA.

He joins Salpointe Catholic wide receiver Cameron Denson, Fresno, Calif., running back Nick Wilson and Florida tight end Nick Nataro.

Wilkins on campus

Four-star quarterback Manny Wilkins is also visiting Tucson this weekend, according to Scout.com. The Novato, Calif., resident has offers from Arizona, Colorado State, Utah State and Wyoming.

Wildcats coaches recently visited Wilkins at his high school and watched him throw. He's also visiting Arizona State this weekend.

Game stays in Vegas

Arizona fans hoping for a September excursion to Las Vegas will get their wish after all.

UNLV athletic director Jim Livengood released a statement Friday saying the Rebels' game against the UA on Sept. 7 will remain in Las Vegas, rather than being moved to Glendale.

Earlier this month, Livengood said he was working on moving the game between the Rebels and Wildcats to University of Phoenix Stadium - home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.

However, Livengood, the former athletic director at the UA, said in a statement that he wasn't able to make it work.

"We just couldn't get the numbers to match up and in the end everyone agreed it would be best to keep the game here," Livengood said.

Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne said earlier this month that it was "likely" the game would be moved to Glendale. He tweeted Friday that he wished the two schools could have made it happen.

"We were excited about moving the UNLV game to PHX & wish it could have happened for our team & fans. We do understand UNLV's position," Byrne tweeted.

The UA will open its season Aug. 30 at home against NAU.

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