Tight end Trevor Wood, an incoming UA freshman, is eager to get started at Arizona. Wood helped lead Scottsdale Chaparral to the Div. II state championship game in the fall, where it lost to Salpointe Catholic, above.

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star

Trevor Wood still gets the question all the time.

“Arizona over Alabama and Oregon? Seriously?”


Wood, a tight end from Scottsdale Chaparral High School, surprised the recruiting world a bit about 10 months ago when he committed to Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats over offers from some of the top programs in the country. Nebraska, Oklahoma, Michigan State, UCLA, USC and others joined Alabama and Oregon as schools that really wanted Wood.

But the 6-foot-5-inch, 235-pound tight end was all-in with the Wildcats. His dad, Dave, was a first-team All-Pac-10 defensive tackle for Arizona in 1984. His uncle, Brent, was a linebacker at the UA from 1983 to 1986, and his brother, Carter, is currently on the Arizona roster, serving as a backup center.

Now Trevor gets to begin his journey as a Wildcat.

The tight end will report for duty in Tucson this Sunday. He will be among the first group of incoming freshmen to enroll at Arizona. After a team meeting Friday night, Wood and the others will get going with classes and workouts starting Monday.

“I’ve been excited since the week before I committed,” Wood told the Star on Tuesday. “I’m pumped to get down there and get to work.”

Among the incoming players set to join Wood on Sunday are Salpointe Catholic High School stars Cameron Denson and Kaelin Deboskie, offensive linemen Levi Walton and Jordan Poland and defensive tackle Marcus Griffin.

The next report date for incoming freshman is June 22. Wood couldn’t wait that long.

After catching 68 passes for 929 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior at Chaparral, Wood underwent surgery to repair a torn left labrum in late December. He missed most of his junior season after tearing his right one but played through the pain as a senior.

Now he’s fully recovered and has a real chance to make an immediate impact at tight end. The Wildcats have just one tight end on scholarship — Josh Kern — and he has yet to make a catch in his college career. Wood and fellow incoming freshman tight end Darrell Cloy, both have a shot to play as true freshmen.

“Anybody can say they want to play their first year, but you have to prove to your teammates and coaches that you can handle it and be reliable,” Wood said. “That’s why I’m so excited to get down there. I’m ready to start proving myself.”

Wood has started working on impressing his teammates in the last month, working out at Chaparral with current UA players Connor Brewer, Cayleb Jones and DaVonte Neal.

Wood likely won’t have to worry about impressing his brother, Carter, who served as the No.2 center last year behind Steven Gurrola.

“He’ll be giving me some crap the first couple of practices, but at the same time, he’s my brother, and I know he’s always got my back,” Wood said. “The same goes for me having his.”

One player that won’t join Wood on Sunday is running back Nick Wilson. The four-star recruit from Fresno, Calif., doesn’t graduate until next Thursday. He’ll arrive with the second group of incoming freshman on June 22.

“I don’t even know what to expect,” Wilson said. “I’m just ready to get out there and start working. I feel like I already have a real tight bond with the other freshmen, and now we actually get to be teammates.”

Extra points

  • As part of its “14 for ’14” series, NFL.com released its list Tuesday of the 14 toughest college players. UA senior safety
  • Jared Tevis
  • was No. 6 on the list. He was one of just three Pac-12 players to make the cut, joining Washington linebacker
  • Shaq Thompson
  • (No. 8) and UCLA linebacker/running back
  • Myles Jack
  • (No. 3).

On the former Canyon del Oro High School star, NFL.com, wrote: “Tevis began his career as a hometown walk-on and has developed into one of most productive — and biggest-hitting — safeties in the Pac-12. …Tevis should contend for all-league honors this fall.”

  • Five-star defensive tackle
  • Kahlil McKenzie
  • tweeted Tuesday night he will announce his college decision on July 10. The Concord, Calif., native said he will choose between Arizona and Tennessee.

McKenzie is ranked as the 10th-best prospect in the country by the Scout.com recruiting service and the top prospect on the West Coast. In late April, shortly after visiting Tucson, McKenzie listed his top five as Arizona, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and USC. McKenzie preps at De La Salle High School and is listed at 6-4, 330.

  • The Arizona coaches will be busy this weekend. Saturday marks the one-day seven-on-seven summer high school tournament at the UA. More than 40 teams from Arizona and California will make the trip to Tucson, with some of the more highly touted recruits in the West on their rosters. The championship game of the tournament will be played Saturday night at 8 p.m. at Arizona Stadium.

On Sunday, Rich Rodriguez and his staff will host a one-day prospect camp for top recruits.

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