If you’re trying to keep track of the UofA football program, the revolving door on personnel has swung again. This time, it’s one out and two in.
It was a busy time for the University of Arizona program last week. The Wildcats lost one player from the current roster and picked up two more recruits for the class of 2011.
DeWayne Peace, a project underway on the defensive side, announced he is transferring to Blinn College, a Texas JUCO.
Peace was a wide receiver at South Grand Prairie High School in Texas when former UofA offensive coordinator, Sonny Dykes, recruited him in 2008. He served as a scout team receiver last season and was moved in the spring to a cornerback role for his redshirt freshman year.
A First Team All-District selection in high school, he was considered a three-star prospect. He had marginal speed (4.53/40), but great hands and an ability to read zone offenses and get open.
However, cornerback should be one of the strong spots in the Cats’ defense for the coming year, and there are long lines at the wide receiver spot. So his impact would likely have been minimal.
On the plus side… the latest commitments from the Class of 2011 include a couple of interesting picks.
Ross Oltorik will transfer in from the Big Ten, where he actually cashed in on a baseball scholarship to Ohio State and then joined the football team as a walk-on. He didn’t get on the football field last year, and also sat out the baseball season when he was sidelined with a rotator cuff injury.
But in high school, the 6’2″, 210 lb. signal caller was a three-year starter at Archibishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, where he became the school’s all-time leading passer, piling up more than 5,000 yards.
Oltorik begins classes at UofA next week, but he’ll have to wait to be able to prove his worth for the future. He’ll have to redshirt this year in compliance with NCAA rules. So that makes him, technically, a part of the 2011 class.
The other recruit in that class that committed just about the same time is one of those players with the ability to contribute on both offense and defense.
Michael Cooper is a 6’5″, 230 lb. tight end out of Texas who may also move to defensive end in order to get enough playing time. In fact, he has spent most of his time on defense at Woodlands High School in Houston.
Cooper reportedly had offers from a dozen or so colleges, but the only BCS schools that expressed an interest were Arizona and Duke.
You may think that was a pretty simple decision, but the 17-year-old wasn’t basing his decision on football alone. He carries a 3.8 weighted GPA and wants to major in business. Arizona’s Eller College of Management tipped the scales for the Cats.
If you’re counting, Cooper makes 11 recruits for the Class of 2011. And if you care, four of them are from the Lone Star State.
One last note of interest. Oltorik is the second quarterback the Cats have pilfered from the Big Team in recent years. The other is Nick Foles, who transferred in from Michigan State and has turned into a pretty good find. He threw for 2,486 yards and 19 touchdowns in 10 games as a sophomore, and should have the Cats back in the conference hunt again in 2010.
That should give the ex-Buckeye a couple of years to learn the game the way it’s played in the Pac-10.