Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Add Top-rated Signees
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 24, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Difference-Makers Inked by Football Staff for 2006

TUCSON--University of Arizona football coaches signed three players to mid-year letters of intent this week, all considered among the top handful of junior college transfers.

Mike Stoops and staff will bring in defensive end Louis Holmes, defensive tackle Gabe Long and offensive tackle James Tretheway. They'll enroll in January and be able to participate in spring practice.

"The signing of these three players will make an immediate impact in our program," Stoops said. "All three of these young men were heavily recruited nationally and we are ecstatic that they have chosen Arizona as their home for the next two years.

"Getting guys like this shows how strong we have developed the program and how far the maturity level of the program has come in being able to attract the quality they possess," he said. "We have never recruited a junior college player to do anything but start, and that is what we have in mind for these three. They provide us not only depth but give us more strength and size along the lines."

Stoops was pleased with the staff's recruiting prowess, still just part of the way through the process that will become final with spring signing date in February for the rest of the class. "We have worked really hard and our staff did a great job of evaluating players and staying on players we really wanted. It's a daily task to help move us to another stage in our program," he said.


Holmes, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end from Scottsdale, Ariz., Community College, was widely recruited by national football powers and is listed as the overall No. 1 junior college prospect at any position by and, the two major college recruiting analysts.

Long, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound defensive tackle from Fullerton, Calif., College, is listed by Scout as its highest rated junior college prospect at tackle, and No. 9 overall at the position. Rivals lists him as a four-star recruit, among the nation's elite.

Tretheway is listed No. 49 on the national juco 100 by Rivals and is 11th among offensive linemen on the list. lists the Juco All-American as a three-star recruit.

Stoops said the first two were one key. "The defensive line is an area we needed to make drastic improvement in. Signing guys like Long and Holmes will really help us in that area. Louis wants to take us to the next level. He is a big-time player. He is a dynamic player who will bring some excitement and some stability along our d-line.

“Holmes is so unique," Stoops said. "To have that size, strength and speed is not typical for your average player. He is so explosive. There is so much he can do. Gabe is physical and his strength is impressive.  He will give immediate help on the inside of our front.

"Tretheway really gives us some options along the offensive line. James is a very intelligent player who has a long body and gives us great options," Soops said.

"We hope that this signing day success can help propel us into the next group of players we can sign on February 1.  Great players want to play with great players and our goal is to recruit the best possible players we can to this program," he said.


The signing of these players are part of why Arizona is currently listed No. 10 by Rivals and No. 13 by Scout in the overall national recruiting rankings, although considerable weight is given to other verbal commitments Arizona coaches have secured for the spring National Letter of Intent signing day in February. Arizona expects to sign about two dozen new players for the 2006 season.







Hometown (High School/JC)

Louis Holmes





Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Dillard/Scottsdale CC)

Gabe Long





Anaheim, Calif. (Esperanza/Fullerton College)

James Tretheway





San Francisco, Calif. (El Camino/College of San Mateo)


Mid-Year Wildcat Player Notes...


Louis Holmes... Defensive End


NJCAA All-Region 1 first-team honors...Second-team All-Western States Football League... 192 tackles, 40 for losses and 16 sacks in two-year JC career... 5-star... Attended a Maine prep school, Brighton Academy in 2003... Attended three years of high school in Memphis, his hometown, before moving to Florida... Fab50Recruiting top 25... First-team 2004 NJCAA All-America... Preseason 2005 first-team NJCAA All-America... Played tight end and defensive line at Dillard HS in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.... 20 years old, date of birth Feb. 24, 1985



Gabe Long... Defensive Tackle 5-star... Two-time All-Mission Conference selection... League Defensive MVP as frosh in 2003, Beach Bowl and team MVP, 13 sacks... Eight sacks in 2004... Top juco player in 2004 by Rivals' fourth-rated juco prospect among class of 2005, when he signed with another Pac-10 school last February... 5-star prep recruit out of Esperanza High School in Anaheim... 2003 Sunset League and Orange County track champion, and 7th in state at shotput with a 61’ throw...  20 years old, date of birth Jan. 3, 1985...







James Tretheway... Offensive Lineman


JC-Gridwire first-team All-America... California Community College Coaches Association All-California Region I honors in 2005... Team was No. 9 team in final JC-Gridwire national rankings, 10-1 and Bulldog Bowl Champions... 2005 NorCal first-team All-League... 3-star and Top 25 OL listing... Rivals JC Top 100... First-team all-conference as a freshman... Second- team all-league in high school at El Camino... National Football Foundation scholar-athlete award while at ECHS... 20 years old, date of birth October 7, 1985...



Photos courtesy of, Fullerton College Athletics and College of San Mateo



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