UA gets commitments from impact players Chol, Savage

It has been an exceptionally good week for University of Arizona athletics.  The Cats just picked up commitments from impact players in two major sports.

Angelo Chol and Tom Savage almost crossed paths this past week, as Chol was on the Tucson campus over the weekend and Savage made his visit on Tuesday.

By Thursday, they both made their decision to play for the Wildcats.

Chol is the best big man left on the board, the No. 43 college basketball prospect as rated by  One of the best high school rebounders and shot blockers in California history, he is a four-star prospect that has taken Sean Miller’s already impressive 2011 recruiting class from being ranked No. 12 in the country to No. 8.

Savage, a five-star recruit coming out of high school two years ago, now brings veteran experience at quarterback to the Arizona football program after playing two years at Rutgers.  The 6’5″, 240-pound signal caller has signed an official financial aid agreement and will enroll in the summer, but will not be eligible to play until 2012.

But Chol brings immediate help to the hoops program, joining a 2011 class that includes five-star guard Josiah Turner and four-star prospects Nick Johnson at guard and Sidiki Johnson in the forward slot.

He is an athletic left-hander who not only can score, but brings an intimidating defensive presence to the floor.

A native of Sudan who didn’t start playing basketball until middle school, the 6’8″ forward has the second-highest rebounding total in California history and set a national shot-blocking record as a sophomore with 337 that year.

And he’s having a monster year as he finishes out his senior season at Hoover High School in San Diego, averaging 23 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 blocked shots per game.

Arizona won out over Washington, Alabama, Kansas and North Carolina, which were all on Chol’s short list and in consideration until this week.

Savage, too, had other schools under consideration, including Florida and Miami and was one of just two high-profile quarterbacks that were searching out a new home after transferring out of big-school programs.  The other was Tate Forcier, a starter from University of Michigan who decided on attending Miami.

The seasoned quarterback led the Scarlet Knights to a 9-4 record as a freshman and a victory over Central Florida in the St. Petersburg Bowl.  He played in 12 games in 2009, throwing for 2,211 yards and 14 touchdowns, but saw minimal game time as a sophomore after suffering a hand injury.

When he’s eligible to play for the Cats in 2012, he will likely be competing for a starting role against highly-recruited Daxx Garman, a true freshman this year who will be a back-up to senior Nick Foles, and Cam Allerheiligen, a freshman this season who made his contribution by participating on the scout team.

In addition, back-up Matt Scott, who enjoyed success last season subbing for Foles when he was injured, may be redshirted for his senior season so that he can step in for the 2012 season.

The quarterback competition in 2012 could be unusually fierce, and will likely include two veterans with proven success.

Actually, that’s not a bad problem to have.