TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Arizona head coach Mike Stoops’ second recruiting class at UA got an early leg up with the signing of four junior college players on Wednesday. The group includes wide receiver B.J. Vickers, tight end Brandyn McCall, safety Michael Johnson and H-back Paul Nichols. All four players are eligible to enroll for classes next semester and will be a part of Arizona’s spring season.
“As last season progressed, we identified the areas of need on both offense and defense,” Stoops said. “These four guys will be able fill some of those areas and make an impact right away. They’re all talented and will push for immediate playing time.”
Vickers, the son of former Arizona tight end Ryan Vickers (1985-86), comes to the Wildcats via Santa Monica Community College in California. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 216 lbs, he recorded over 700 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in 2004 at Santa Monica to garner second team JC All-America honors. He is listed by both rivals.com and scout.com as a four-star recruit. As a standout at Venice High School, the high school alma mater of current Wildcat Gerold Rodriguez, he posted 3,020 yards and scored 22 touchdowns in just two seasons. He originally signed with Louisville out of high school but opted for Santa Monica instead. Vickers has three years to play two.
“B.J. is one of the premier junior college wide receivers in the country,” Stoops said. “His talent and pass-catching ability shores up our receiving corps.”
Tight end McCall will join Arizona from Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he played two seasons for former UA quarterback Ray Shakleford (1959-60). He was named All-Mission Conference in 2004 after catching 23 balls in limited action. As a freshman in 2003, he garnered all-conference honors after leading all the tight ends in the league with 22 catches for 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 240 lbs, McCall will help fill the void left by the departure of graduating seniors Steve Fleming and Clarence McRae. He is listed as a three-star recruit by rivals.com and has three years to play two.
“Brandyn is a very big and athletic tight end that fills an immediate need for us with the loss of Steve (Fleming),” said Stoops. “He is a very good blocker in the running game and has the ability to catch the ball in space. He is a prototypical tight end.”
Johnson, a four-star recruit by both rivals.com and scout.com, was named first-team All-America in 2004 at Tyler Community College in Tyler, Texas, after recording 68 tackles and six sacks. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 lbs, he added to his accolades last season with All-Southwest Junior College Conference honors and was named the conference’s defensive player of the week after making 14 tackles, including a sack, and knocking down two passes against Blinn Junior College in the conference semifinal game. Hailing from Pfluggerville, Texas, Johnson has three years to play two.
“Michael is a very athletic safety who has played all four positions in the secondary,” Stoops said. “He is very experienced and will be able to move around in the secondary for us right away.”
Nichols, a two-star recruit by rivals.com, will move to H-back after playing tight end at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kan., last season. Named first team All-Jayhawk League, he had five catches for 104 yards and four touchdowns in 2004. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 235 lbs, Nichols has three years to play two.
“Paul is a former high school running back that played tight end at Coffeyville” Stoops said. “He will help us as a fullback/H-back and his flexibility will be an asset to us offensively.”
The next round of signings will be announced on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, the first day that high school recruits can officially sign National Letters of Intent.
2004 Arizona Junior College Recruiting Class
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/Last School
Michael Johnson Safety 6-3 195 Pfluggerville, Texas/Tyler CC
Brandyn McCall TE 6-5 250 Honolulu, Hawaii/Golden West College
Paul Nichols H-back 6-3 235 Bronson, Kan./Coffeyville JC
B.J. Vickers WR 6-3 215 Venice, Calif./Santa Monica CC