While the rest of the Arizona Wildcats' newcomers report for training camp today, Dexter Ransom will be taking the most important test of his young life.

His college football eligibility hangs in the balance.

Ransom, a transfer from Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, must get a "C" or better in his final summer school course to qualify academically at the UA. The Wildcats open camp Thursday morning at Rincon Vista.

Asked whether he was stressed out, Ransom - a three-star wide receiver - laughed.

"A little bit," he said Monday, "but I'm confident everything's going to work out."

Ransom has been battling academic issues all summer. He sent in the final paperwork for his class, a through-the-mail math course, more than a month ago. When it wasn't received, Ransom was forced to re-do the work.

Ransom, 6 feet 4 inches and 217pounds, is expected to be the Wildcats' top incoming receiver. He caught 55 passes for 1,146 yards and 17 touchdowns in two season at Blinn College. He chose Arizona over offers from 13 other schools, including Auburn and Oklahoma.

Ransom should know his fate within the next few days.

"I should get my grade back on Wednesday," he said. "I'm looking at probably (leaving) either late Wednesday afternoon or sometime this week."

Wade on Thorpe list

Cornerback Trevin Wade has been named a preseason candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive back.

The Thorpe Award's 35-person watch list, released Monday, includes just one other Pac-10 player, UCLA's Rahim Moore.

The Thorpe Award committee will narrow the list to either 10 or 12 semifinalists in early November, and three finalists in late November. The winner will be announced during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.

Wade, a junior, is expected to be one of the Pac-10's top defensive players again this season. In two seasons, one as a starter, Wade has amassed nine interceptions, 18 pass deflections and a forced fumble.

Wade is the third Wildcat to make a preseason watch list. Center Colin Baxter is a candidate for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's top lineman. Nick Foles has been connected to the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's top quarterback.

Extra points

• The Wildcats aren't scheduled to christen the Jimenez Practice Facility until Aug. 24, the second day of fall classes. The UA will spend training camp at Rincon Vista and on the Fort Huachuca army installation.

• Ryan Walters, a former standout at Colorado, has joined the team as a defensive graduate assistant. Co-defensive coordinator Greg Brown coached Walters at CU from 2004 to 2008.