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Cats Add 17 To '08 Class
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/06/2008
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Signing Day Release?

(NOTE: Arizona added a 23rd recruit for 2008 shortly after Signing Day, with the addition of defensive back Mark Watley of Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif.)

TUCSONˇ?University of Arizona football coach Mike Stoops and staff have signed 22 players to National Letters of Intent for the 2008 season, including todayˇ?s group of 17 signees and five players who enrolled at mid year and will participate in spring ball.

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??????????? ? ˇ?We filled the most immediate need for linemen with 12 total ?C seven of those on the offensive side,ˇ± Stoops said. The Wildcats also inked four linebackers in the group ?C two of those already in school ?C and added a defensive back plus five skill-position players including a young quarterback.

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ˇ?We feel we have some impact players in this class, and overall are very pleased with taking care of some holes. Iˇ?m especially happy about the very big, talented offensive linemen,ˇ± Stoops said. ˇ?We needed to improve in that area and believe we have.ˇ±

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Stoops said additional newcomers for the class of 2008 could be signed in the ensuing months. ˇ?You canˇ?t oversign (in this period) and then tell a kid thereˇ?s no space,ˇ± he said. ˇ?What would that do to your credibility???But the process gets more difficult each year. You put in a lot of work filling positions, and then have difficulties in the second half of the period because of de-commitments after some relentless pursuit by other schools. I think thereˇ?s a consensus that an early signing date could help,ˇ± he said.

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????????????ˇ?The staff did a really nice job of early evaluation and identifying prospects, and continued that with good preparation for official visits. These kids fit our system as players, and meet our standards as young people who we project will be quality student-athletes,ˇ± said Bill Baker, UAˇ?s recruiting coordinator and assistant director of football operations.

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????????????The Cats signed players to nine positions for this class ?C quarterback, running back, receiver, linebacker, defensive end, defensive tackle,?cornerback and offensive tackle and guard. Some guys have position flexibility, Stoops said, but that would be determined in spring and fall camps.

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????????????The February signees joins three offensive linemen and two linebackers in school who signed as junior college transfers during the December signing period. One of those, linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka, was initially signed last February but attended a local junior college last semester.

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The Class of 2008

Photos courtesy of Honolulu Star-Bulletin, SuperPrep, Lisa Quinn, Fresno?Bee, Las Vegas Review-Journal,?McKinney Courier-Gazette, Cerritos College, Blinn College, Beaumont Enterprise, Austin American-Statesman, Rivals.com, Scout.com, Mark Nielsen

Antolin action

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Keola Antolin

Running Back

Freshman, 5-8, 180

Las Vegas , Nev. ?(Bishop Gorman

Las Vegas Review-Journal?Sunset Region Offensive Player of the Year in 2007ˇ? First-team all-state honorsˇ??PrepStar All-Westˇ? Followed DeMarco Murray in Gaelsˇ? backfield for coach Bob Altschulerˇ?In senior year had 107 carries for 1,048 yards and 10 touchdownsˇ? Averaged 26 yards per catch with four scoresˇ? Rushed for 203 yards and three TDs in 4A state title-clinching victory over McQueenˇ? 20 TDs gave him 120 points, second to fellow UA recruit Juron Criner in the stateˇ?Return specialist with scores on four punts, a kickoff and missed field goal returns his senior yearˇ? Rushed for 918 yards as a junior and 483 yards as a sophomoreˇ? Caught 33 passes as junior, plus had a four-TD game rushing against Westernˇ? Class-4A All-Southwest Division as a junior, for both RB and WR honorsˇ? Wrestled for Bishop Gorman as freshman in 152-pound classˇ? Born in Hawaii and moved to Las Vegas at the age of 7ˇ? Recruited by coach Mike Smithˇ? Date of birth Jan. 14, 1990ˇ?

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D

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Dominique Austin

Defensive Line

Freshman, 6-4, 255

La Puente , Calif. ?(Bishop Amat)

Could factor at defensive end or tackle for Arizonaˇ? ?PrepStar All-Westˇ?Played on both lines for La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat and coach Mark Vertiˇ? Tallied 47 tackles along the defensive lineˇ? First Team All-Serra League and First Team All-San Gabriel Valley Tribuneˇ? Camp circuit in Southland, earning all-combine second-team defense in May in Los Angelesˇ? Recruited by coach Sonny Dykesˇ? Date of birth Nov. 11, 1990ˇ?

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Kenny Barnes

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Kenny Barnes

Defensive End

Freshman, 6-2, 235

Glendale , Ariz. ?(Kellis)

PrepStar All-Westˇ?Played defensive end, tackle, tight end and running back at times in his high school career for coach Jason Goldenˇ? Settled at defensive end during Kellisˇ? first varsity season in 2006 with only a freshmen through junior rosterˇ? 2007 was Kellis' first four-year class and Barnes will be among its first FBS Division athletesˇ?. Shot putter, sprinter and discus thrower for Kellis in high schoolˇ? Recruited by coach Tim Kishˇ? Date of birth Oct. 29, 1989ˇ?

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Trace Biskin

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Trace Biskin

Offensive Tackle

Freshman, 6-5, 270

Westlake Village , Calif. ?(Oaks Christian)

First-team Division 3 All-State honors by Maxpreps.comˇ??Oakland Tribune preseason ˇ®Cream of the Cropˇ? for area prep starsˇ??PrepStar All-Westˇ? Likely to open his UA career as a tackleˇ? Also played on the defensive tackle prior to his senior year at Oaks Christian for coach Bill Redell... Part of 15-0 state Division III titlists as junior.. Team had 46-game winning streak entering 2007ˇ? participated in UA summer camp in 2007ˇ?. Played basketball at OCHSˇ? Recruited by coach Joe Robinsonˇ? Date of birth Dec. 3, 1989ˇ?

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Juron Criner

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Juron Criner

Wide Receiver

Freshman, 6-4, 205

Las Vegas , Nev. ?(Canyon Springs)

Class 4A All-Sunrise Region first-team offenseˇ? Two-time all-stateˇ? PrepStar All-Westˇ? Big receiver with decent speed, Criner caught 58 passes for 1,631 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior year for coach Matt Jenkinsˇ? Catches and yardage was top in stateˇ? Outstanding per-catch yardageˇ? Team scoring leader with 172 points including 10 PATsˇ? Had 36 catches for 788 yards his junior year on an 8-4 squadˇ? Official visit was during UAˇ?s victory over No. 2 Oregonˇ? Noted basketball playerˇ? Recruited by coach Michael Smithˇ? Date of birth Dec. 12, 1989ˇ?

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Diaz (Cerritos CC)

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Mike Diaz ???????(Enrolled)

Offensive Lineman

6-5, 340, Junior

Cerritos ?Community College

First-team all-conference as a sophomore tackle and unanimous first-team All Mission Conference Northern Division in 2006ˇ? At Schurr High School he was named 1st??Cteam All-Almont League on offense as a senior for coach Frank Mazzotta after earning all-league on both sides of the ball as a sophomore and juniorˇ? Also caught three passes for 15 yards and had five quarterback sacks on defense his senior yearˇ? Was a 2nd-team All-CIF selection on defense his prep junior seasonˇ? Pulled in five passes for 25 yards and had two sacksˇ? Spent three years on the basketball team and averaged 11 points a game his senior year... Son of Jose and Monica Diazˇ? Aunt lives in Tucsonˇ? Recruited by coach Michael Smithˇ? Born in Los Angeles Feb. 22, 1988ˇ?.

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Vaughn Dotsy

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Vaughn Dotsy

Offensive Line

Freshman, 6-5, 355

Ventura , Calif. ?(St. Bonaventure)

All-Division IV CIF Southern Section in 2006 and 2007ˇ? Ventura County Star?first-team selection for three yearsˇ? First-team All-Channel Leagueˇ??PrepStar All-Westˇ? Helped lead team to California Division III state title at 14-1ˇ? Second-team all-stateˇ? Played for one of the perennial powers in the greater Los Angeles areaˇ? Team was 14-0 in 2005, 10-2 in 2006 under coach Jon Mackˇ? Under Armour All-Star game in Orlando in early Januaryˇ? Helped clear way for 2,500-yard rusher Darrell Scott and 36-points-per-game offense that won ninth CIF Southern Section titleˇ? Accomplished prep thrower, earning Tri-Valley League meet shot put championship in 2007 with 44-5 throw and second in the discus with a toss of 134-1, and won both events at the meet in 2006ˇ?Could factor at either guard or tackle for Arizonaˇ? Recruited by coach Joe Robinsonˇ? Date of birth Sept. 7, 1989ˇ?

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David Dougls McKinney Courier Gaz

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David Douglas

Wide Receiver

Freshman, 6-1, 190

McKinney , Texas ?(North)

First-team All-District 9-4A Offense Texas honor 2007ˇ??PrepStar All-Midlandsˇ? Dallas Morning News?Area 100ˇ? Dave Campbellˇ?s Texas 300 Top 20 WRˇ?? Had nine catches for 174 yards and four TDs against Denton in big 2007 gameˇ? Played quarterback at mid-season 2007ˇ? 2006 Team Texas 4A Region II first-team offense as junior for the Bulldogs and coach Shawn Prattˇ? Friend of baseball signee Nico Taylorˇ? Both played basketball, and Douglas is a former member of the Texas Showtime team coached by former Cowboy Tony Hillˇ? ?83 grabs, 1285 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior, among top five in areaˇ? Recruited by coach Mark Stoopsˇ? Date of birth June 27, 1989ˇ?

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Zander Fabbri

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Zander Fabbri

Linebacker

Freshman, 6-1, 255

Bakersfield , Calif. ?(Centennial)

PrepStar All-West honors for coach Bryan Nixonˇ?? Fullback as well as linebacker in his prep career, with 94 carries for 833 yards and 17 scores his junior yearˇ? GoldenStatePreps second-team All-Southern California after 10-2 senior yearˇ?? Likely to open his first camp at UA as a Mike linebackerˇ? All-state underclass as junior for Golden Hawks of Southwest Yosemite League, and league defensive MVP in 2006ˇ? Recruited by coach Joe Robinsonˇ? Date of birth June 6, 1989ˇ?

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garcia Cerritos photo

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Phillip Garcia ?(Enrolled)

Offensive Lineman

6-7, 340, Junior

Cerritos ?College

Named 2nd?Team All-Mission Conference Northern Division in 2006ˇ? Injured half way through senior year otherwise was en route to similar honors as soph for coach Frank Mazzottaˇ? Teamed with high school teammate Mike Diaz to help anchor the offensive lineˇ? At Schuur High School he helped lead his team to three consecutive Almont League championshipsˇ? Recorded 20 pancake tackles as a prep seniorˇ? Was the freshman teamˇ?s Lineman of the Yearˇ? Was a 1st Team all-league selection in track and field as a senior after earning 2nd Team honors as a juniorˇ? Also played a year on the basketball team and helped them to the league titleˇ? Recruited by coach Michael Smithˇ? Date of birth Sept. 2, 1988, in East Los Angelesˇ?

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Robert Golden Bee

Robert Golden

Cornerback

Freshman, 5-11, 190

Fresno , Calif. (Edison)

Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the Westˇ? Tacoma News Tribune Western 100ˇ? PrepStar Dream Team 2007ˇ?All-(Fresno) Bee 2007 Football All-Starˇ? Second-team all-state by CalHiSports and All-Valley first-team honorsˇ? U.S. Army All-American gameˇ? MaxPreps Division II All-State first teamˇ??Helped Edison 10-1-1 record and state semifinalsˇ? Among top-rated on Arizonaˇ?s list of signeesˇ?Three-year starter for Edison, which has turned out a number of D-I defensive backs over the yearsˇ?Tigers coach Tim McDonald ?C of USC fame ?C says hardly anyone completed any passes against lockdown-corner Golden in 2007, who was joined in the secondary by Tim Jr., a safetyˇ? In 2006, had 65 tackles and four interceptions playing opposite all-state pick Courtney Vineyˇ? Recruited by coach Tim Kishˇ? Date of birth Sept. 13, 1990ˇ?

HERMANHALL12_7150

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Herman Hall?????(Enrolled)

Offensive Lineman

6-3, 325, Junior

Blinn ?College

All SWJCFC honorable mention in 2007 on 7-3 clubˇ? Played center and tackle his sophomore year at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, for coach Brad Franchione and assistant Scott Maxfieldˇ? Likely to compete for time at center or guard at Arizonaˇ? Blocked for 1,000-yard rusher James Johnsonˇ? Blinn won NJCAA national title in 2006 with a 12-0 recordˇ? Helped Franchioneˇ?s program earned him National Football Foundation two-year college coach of the year in 2006ˇ? Mid-year enrollee who will compete in spring ball 2008ˇ? Blinn is a 125-year-old junior college between Houston and Austin in the hills of east-central Texasˇ? Recruited by coach Dana Dimelˇ? Date of birth Aug. 11, 1986ˇ?

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solomon koehler star bulletin

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Solomon Koehler

Defensive Tackle

Freshman, 6-3, 305

Kaneohe , Hawaˇ?ii (Castle)??????????????????????

Tacoma News Tribune Western 100ˇ? Honorable mention Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the Westˇ???Arguably the stateˇ?s top player and a member of several top 100 national listsˇ? U.S. Army All-American Bowl San Antonio Jan 5. where he announced decision to attend UAˇ? Interscholastic League of Honolulu ILH All-Star honors 2007ˇ?PrepStar Dream Teamˇ?Honolulu Advertiser All-State 1st-team defensive lineman 2007ˇ??PIAA 2007 Top Defensive Lineman awardˇ??Honolulu Star-Bulletin first-team all-state as junior offensive lineman and second-team honors in ˇ?07 as defensive tackleˇ? Played four offensive line positions for coach Nelson Maeda in addition to interior defensive dutyˇ? Defensive MVP of the 2006 All-Poly campˇ? He earned 4th place overall in the Hawaii Strongest Teen Strong Man in 2006, and won the?Hawaii Strongest Teen Strong Man 4th Place Overall in 2006ˇ?Also invited to All-American Bowl in Jackson, Missˇ? HUB Goodwill Senior Bowl in Honolulu in December, East Team playerˇ? Recruited by coach Mike Tuiasosopoˇ? Date of Birth May 1, 1990ˇ?

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Sterling Lewis

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Sterling Lewis (Enrolled)

Linebacker

5-11, 225, Junior

Blinn ?College

First-team all-defense Southwest Junior College Football Conference in 2007 as an outside linebacker for the Buccaneers???ˇ? Had 61 tackles, 11tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, three recoveries, an interception and a blocked punt in 2007 for coach Scott Maxfieldˇ? Team was 7-3, losing in first round of playoffs after a 12-0 NJCAA title year in 2006 as Pilgrimsˇ? Pride Bowl champsˇ? Played for coach Brad Franchione, son of Dennis Franchioneˇ? Had two sacks as freshman in 2006ˇ? Prepped at Copperas Cove, Texas, High Schoolˇ? Recruited by coach Dana Dimelˇ? Date of Birth Dec. 3, 1987ˇ?

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Merrill rivals

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Chris Merrill

Defensive Tackle

Freshman, 6-2, 275

Scottsdale , Ariz. ?(Saguaro)

PrepStar All-Westˇ? Arizona Football Coaches Association first-team All-State 4A defensive lineˇ? East Valley Tribune All-4A-2A second-team offensive lineˇ? Comes to UA from a team with twin titles and a 27-1 record in past two years under coach John Sandersˇ? 1st team all 4A as an OL and 1st team all region on both sides of the ball as a junior after recording 73 tackles and 21 sacksˇ? Helped team win 4A Division I state title junior year at 13-1... Merrill caused a fumble that led to the winning score in 41-21 victory over Sabino in that title gameˇ?Sabercats repeated at 14-0 in 2007 with a 23-21 victory over CDOˇ? 12 sacks as senior two-way playerˇ? Recruited by Arizona linebackers coach Tim Kish and was one of initial commitments in the classˇ? Date of birth Oct. 6, 1989ˇ?

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Greg Nwoko austin amer statesman

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Greg Nwoko

Running Back

6-2, 220, Freshman

Pflugerville , Texas ?(Pflugerville)

First-team All-District 14-5A running back final two years in 2007 and 2006 for coach George Herrmannˇ?

Rushed for 1,446 yards on 225 carries his senior year, with 20 touchdownsˇ? Caught 15 passes for 213 yards and a scoreˇ? Played in winged T with two other backs of note who together combined for 4,000 yards rushingˇ? Jumbo back in a so-called grind-it-out system that helped team get to 5A Division II title game against Katyˇ? 5Atexasfootball preseason ˇ®super listˇ?ˇ?Recruited by coach Dana Dimelˇ? Date of birth May 29, 1990...

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Kyle Quinn

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Kyle Quinn

Offensive Line

Freshman, 6-2, 275

Brentwood , Calif. (Liberty)

PrepStar All-Westˇ? Considered a top five player in Bay Valley League for Liberty, the the eastern Bay Areaˇ? All-BVAL first-team offense 2007ˇ? Oakland Tribune preseason Cream of the Cropˇ? Also played defensive line as a juniorˇ? Worked out at LinemenInc. camps in California, for skills-based training and development, where UA coach Bill Bedenbaugh has been a clinicianˇ? Made all-tourney team as basketball player? in December Stonebarger Tournamentˇ?Competitive Edge Football Camp ˇ®Big Studˇ? award in July 2007ˇ?Coach Nate Smithˇ? team leader for coach Nate Smith and well-rounded student who was Homecoming King finalistˇ? Recruited coach Tim Kishˇ? Date of birth Feb. 9, 1990ˇ?

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Matt Scott rivals

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Matt Scott

Quarterback

Freshman, 6-3, 205

Corona , Calif. ?(Centennial)

Tacoma News Tribune Western 100ˇ? Received votes on Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the Westˇ? PrepStar All-America 2007ˇ? 2007 finalist for Joe Montana Award, national top prep quarterback honorˇ?

First-team multi-purpose all-state by CalHiSportsˇ? Senior year completed 174 of 285 passes for 2,479 yards and 19 touchdowns, plus rushed for 1,099 yards on 131 carries, with 13 scoresˇ? Helped lead coach Matt Loganˇ?s squad to 13-2 season and CIF Division I championshipˇ? Offense-Defense All-Star game in Miami in Januaryˇ? As a junior, he threw for 1,700 yards and 10 scores, rushing for 526 yards and seven TDs on 71 carries (7.5 yards per carry), in an offense featuring a 2,000-yard running backˇ? Had fifth-best pass completion percentage in school history in 2006, 60%...??Earned all-league after the Huskies 11-1 season in 2006ˇ? Reported 4.58 speed at June 07 combine in Los Angelesˇ?Recruited by coach Sonny Dykesˇ? Date of birth Sept. 20, 1990ˇ?

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vuna

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Vuna Tuihalamaka????(Enrolled)

Linebacker

6-2, 240, Junior

El Camino College

First-team J.C. Grid-Wire All-America in 2006 as sophomore at California state juco champion El Camino Community Collegeˇ? 148 tackles in 14 games, with 14.5 for lossesˇ? Mission Conference national division Defensive Player of the Year for coach John Featherstone, 1st-team inside linebackerˇ? SuperPrep Juco 100, No. 23 prospectˇ? California Community College athlete of the month for October 2006ˇ? Season-high 15 tackles vs. Cerritosˇ? 18 tackles as a freshman, with 2 TFL, 1 sack and four PBUsˇ? Prepped at Hawthorne, Calif., High Schoolˇ? Attended Pima College in Tucson in fall 2007ˇ? Cousin is UA redshirt LB Apaiata Tuiahalamakaˇ? Recruited by coach Mike Tuiasosopoˇ? Date of birth: Feb. 28, 1987ˇ?

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jowyn ward 2

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Jowyn Ward

Defensive Tackle

Freshman, 6-2, 265

Katy , Texas ?(Mayde Creek)

First-team All-District 18-5A as a defensive lineman in 2007ˇ? PrepStar All-Midlandsˇ? Dave Campbellˇ?s Texas Football Top 20 DLˇ? 5Atexasfootball DL super listˇ? Reported 80 tackles and four sacks his senior yearˇ? 71 tackles as a juniorˇ?Two-way lineman for coach Joe Sheffy, offensively as a short-yardage blocker, and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery against Alief Taylorˇ? Second-team All-District 18-5A defense as juniorˇ? Eighth place in 5A Region III track meet in April 2007 in shot putˇ?Outstanding student recruited by service academiesˇ? Interested in UAˇ?s engineering programsˇ? Recruited by ?coach Dana Dimelˇ? Date of birth May 24, 1990ˇ?

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J'Marcus Webb

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Jˇ?Marcus Webb

Offensive Line

6-7, 310, Junior

Navarro ?College

1st-team NJCAA All-America 2007 at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texasˇ? All Southwest Junior College Football Conference 1st-team selection for coach Ray Woodardˇ? Prepped at Mesquite, Texas, North High Schoolˇ? Signed with Texas out of high school but went to juco ranksˇ? High school SuperPrep All-American and All-Southwest as No. 8 prospect in Texasˇ? U.S. Army All-America Bowl selectionˇ? EA Sports second-team All-America senior year in 2005ˇ? Recruited by Arizona coaches ?Sonny Dykes and Bill Bedenbaughˇ? Date of birth Aug. 8, 1988...

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RJYOUNG rivals

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R.J. Young

Linebacker

Freshman, 5-11, 225

DeSoto , Texas ?(DeSoto)

First-team All-District 8-5A defense as outside linebacker in 2007 for district coach of the year Dave Meadowsˇ??PrepStar All-Midlandsˇ? Dallas Morning News Area Top 100ˇ? Dave Campbellˇ?s Texas 300 Top 40 linebackerˇ? Helped DeSoto finish with No. 14 state ranking by 5atexasfootball.com, with second-round playoff appearance for 5A Division IIˇ??Joins?DeSoto alums Mike Thomas and Donald Horton on UA squadˇ? ?Had 69 tackles and three sacks his senior yearˇ? Interested in communications field with an eye toward sports broadcastingˇ? Recruited by coach Mark Stoopsˇ? Date of birth Aug. 3, 1990ˇ?

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MARKWATLEY

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Mark Watley

Defensive Back

Freshman, 6-0, 170

Encino, Calif. (Crespi Carmelite)

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Comes from winning program with 2005-06 CIF Division X championships under coach Jeremiah Rossˇ? 11-3 squad made it to Pac-5 title game in ˇ?07ˇ?? Encino Sun All-Suns second-team ˇ? Played safetyˇ? Accomplished three-year middle sprinter for Celts, with USA Track Youth background as wellˇ? Won Southern Section meet and placed fourth in state 400-meter run in 2007, with 47.91 school-record markˇ? Recruited by coach Joe Robinsonˇ? Date of birth April 15, 1990

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