The Star is counting down the Arizona Wildcats’ 2019 recruiting class leading up to Dec. 19, early signing day. Today’s profiled players: Kyle Ostendorp and Chris Roland.
Weight: 195 pounds
Hometown (high school): Phoenix (Desert Vista)
When he committed: May 21, 2018
How he fits: Ostendorp is one of the top punters in Arizona and finished his 2018 campaign seventh in the state in yards per punt (42.7). As the first to commit to the UA’s 2019 class, the three-star player comes at a perfect time and could start immediately.
The Wildcats will lose 2018 starter Dylan Klumph, a grad transfer from Cal, and Jake Glatting, a senior who started in 2017. That leaves redshirt junior Matt Aragon as the only punter on the roster for 2019. Klumph averaged 42.2 yards per punt last season. Ostendorp’s longest punt as a senior at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix was 62 yards, and he pinned 18 kicks inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
He said it: “Kyle is a very good high school punting prospect that shows potential to be great. A big, tall, strong athlete with an ideal frame for a college punter. He punts for excellent distance. His hang time needs to improve. … The tools are there to do so.” — Chris Sailer, trainer and kicking specialist, in his evaluation of Ostendorp on ChrisSailerKicking.com.
Weight: 180 pounds
Hometown (high school): Palmdale, California (William Knight)
When he committed: July 29, 2018
How he fits: Roland is being recruited as an athlete, but the Arizona Wildcats want him to play cornerback in Tucson, and rightfully so. The only other cornerback currently committed in the recruiting class is Maurice Gaines Jr., but the Wildcats struggled to maintain depth at the position in 2018.
Senior Jace Whittaker played just one game in 2018 due to an elbow injury. Whittaker could medically redshirt, per the NCAA’s new four-game rule, and return in 2019. Lorenzo Burns also missed some time, which left true freshman McKenzie Barnes and walk-on Azizi Hearn to fill in. Even safety Troy Young, who the coaching staff wanted to convert into a utility-hybrid linebacker, moved over and played cornerback to provide the Wildcats depth.
Whittaker didn’t participate in Senior Day ceremonies before the UA’s final game, so it’s possible he could return to Arizona, become a graduate transfer or enter his name in the NFL draft. But if Whittaker comes back to Arizona and Burns returns, three-star Roland would add much-needed depth for a position group that struggled with consistency and gave up an average of 440 yards through the air in 2018.
Roland could understudy Whittaker for a season and take over the reins as a sophomore. At 6-foot, 180 pounds, Roland is the same build as Whittaker, which could make for a pleasant transition for Demetrice Martin’s cornerback unit.
He said it: “The culture that’s there, it’s something that I want to be a part of. I feel like I fit in that program and since the first day coach (Martin) recruited me, I knew he wouldn’t lead me in the wrong direction. That’s pretty much it. I can see myself there for three to four years.” — Roland, on why he chose to attend the UA.