Since the 2011 season ended in Tucson, the football program has had a complete face-lift. Rich Rodriguez was brought on in November, a new coaching staff with only one coach returning from the Stoops staff, the North endzone stadium project began in January and now, a new batch of Wildcats have officially signed to join the program.
With signing day this past Wednesday, Rich Rodriguez may not have brought in all the players they wanted, but put together, in a short time frame, a group of players that he calls “OKG’s.”
“OKG’s stands for our kind of guys,” explained Rodriguez. “I thought we really filled all of our needs. I thought we have a good solid class with guys that will contribute all four years.”
Rodriguez signed 25 players to this 2012 class and mentioned that he still had one or two more scholarships to work with.
One position of concern and it might be a big immediate concern is the quarterback position. The Wildcats only currently have one quarterback on scholarship and brought in two in this incoming class. But Rodriguez is looking forward to working with Matt Scott.
“Matt has got a lot of talent. I wish we had him for more than one year,” said Rodriguez. “Were going to try to crash course him this year and see what he does.”
One of the new members of the staff is former Chapparral Head Coach, Charlie Ragle, who was able to bring in a couple of his former players to the Wildcat program in Cody Ippolito and Dylan Cozens.
“It’s special because I know where they (Cody Ippolito and Dylan Cozens) come from,” explained Ragle who is a member of the Wildcats Football Operations. “We are trying to create a culture that is an attitude and I know these guys are going to bring that attitude to the table.”
“I know Charlie and he knows the state. And he knew who some of the best players in the state were and he could direct us in the right direction,” said Rodriguez. “He’s a good football guy, he knows the state of Arizona and I think we are trying to make it known that we are trying to blanket the state.”
Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne who has been making all these changes in building a new future is very pleased with the Wildcats recruiting class and the job Rodriguez has done so far.
“The thing I was thrilled about was the energy that Coach Rodriguez and his staff brought to the table and seeing what they did in a short period of time,” said Byrne. “When you get a whole year, two years and three years to recruit, it’s going to boad very well for what’s ahead for us.”
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