The Arizona Wildcats aren’t finished constructing their roster for the 2019 season, but don’t expect a big splash on Wednesday’s National Signing Day.
It might not even be a trickle.
Arizona inked 20 players on early signing day in December. The maximum in any one class is 25. It’s possible the Wildcats will add a player or two Wednesday, but they are more likely to fill their remaining spots at a later date with graduate transfers.
Arizona has four spots available for 2019 – not five, as the aforementioned numbers would suggest. That’s because quarterback Kevin Doyle – Arizona’s big addition last February – participated as a walk-on last semester. Doyle has since been put on scholarship, and he counts toward the ’19 class.
Although they stand to lose 8-10 players to transfers, the Wildcats can’t simply replace them with other scholarship players; they are limited to 25 “initials” per cycle. Incoming grad transfers would count toward that total. Arizona remains on the lookout for offensive and defensive linemen.
Fortunately, the UA had a relatively small senior class in 2018. The Wildcats lost only eight scholarship seniors, plus defensive tackle PJ Johnson, who could have pursued a sixth season but elected to enter the NFL draft.
The Star currently projects Arizona to have 78 scholarship players for 2019, with more roster turnover expected between now and training camp. Adding four grad transfers would bring that total to 82. The UA still would have room to give scholarships to some deserving veteran walk-ons. FBS teams are allowed 85 total scholarship players.
Arizona added four players to its roster on last year’s National Signing Day: Doyle, fellow QB Jamarye Joiner, safety Dayven Coleman and defensive end Adam Plant. The three besides Doyle had either verbally committed to the UA or secretly signed in December. Plant did not qualify academically and is now at TCU.