UA’s signing of Angelo Chol headlines recruiting news

The last couple of weeks have brought a little wave of excitement on the college recruiting front, as Arizona and Arizona State have both enjoyed some good news.

Thanks to a waiver from the NCAA, the University of Arizona basketball team was able to secure a letter of intent just days ago for its prize catch from San Diego, 6’9″ shot-blocking forward Angelo Chol.

Chol, who ranks second on the national high school career list for blocked shots with 1,120, had verbally committed in February but was having difficulty getting the official letter signed off. His father had returned to Chol’s native Sudan and had become difficult to reach to arrange the signing.

But the Wildcat coaching staff was able to convince the NCAA to grant a waiver which would allow a San Diego attorney to sign the letter in place of the father.

The Parade Magazine second-team All-America selection is the fourth and final piece to coach Sean Miller‘s 2011 recruiting class that is ranked No. 4 in the nation by major recruiting services.  The other three additions signed on during the November signing period.

Chol, who can contribute on offense away from the basket, is the kind of player Miller needed to go with a post game that is pretty well set.  He scored 2,133 points during his four years at Herbert Hoover High School.

But the four-time California All-State selection will provide help in the paint as well.  In addition to his shot-blocking ability, Chol also ranks second in California high school history in rebounds, with 1,732.  He recorded 97 double-double games and 31 triple doubles.

Arizona State also picked up an addition to its basketball program, but didn’t have to go as far.  The Sun Devils found a good one right in their own back yard.

Eric Johnson, a 6’10” center from Hamilton High School in Chandler, accepted a scholarship offer from ASU earlier this week.  Although he had offers from a handful of college programs, he opted for the Sun Devil program, where his mother played college basketball before him.

Johnson has been ranked by ESPN as the No. 30 power forward in the 2012 recruiting class.  He averaged 13 points and 11 rebounds this year as a junior.  But he will also give coach Herb Sendek a defensive presence under the boards; he averaged three blocked shots a game for the Huskies.

Sendek also announced the addition of three more newcomers to the Sun Devil program.

Jonathan Gilling, a 6’7″ forward from Denmark, will be a freshman in the fall.  He averaged 15.2 points a game last season and recorded 10 games of 20 points or better.  Chris Colvin is a 6’3″ combo guard from Palm Beach Junior College, who also played one year at Iowa State.  Evan Gordon averaged 14.4 points for Liberty University during his sophomore season and had seven 20-point games in his two years with the Flames.

And the University of Arizona football program got a little boost last week when Josh Kern verbally committed to play quarterback for the Wildcats, down the road.  He’s the first to commit to Arizona’s 2012 class.

Head coach Mike Stoops had to poke around in Texas to find the 6’5″ signal-caller, but got his commitment after Kern traveled to Tucson to watch the Wildcats’ spring game.

Kern played for Tom C. Clark High School in San Antonio, where he carried the ball for 369 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior this year – and then added another 1,020 yards through the air.

The youngster had a soft spot for the Tucson school, which made recruiting that much easier.  He grew up as an Arizona basketball fan.

Looks like Sean Miller’s loss will soon be Mike Stoops’ gain.