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Football recruiting SitRep: A look at Arizona’s future at TE, the new commit, and more

Time to delve into the tight end position group

Oregon State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It’s been a very busy couple of months for the Arizona Wildcats on the recruiting trail. The ‘Cats continue to push out to their recruiting areas and offer new prospects weekly.

The ‘Cats are also in great standing with a high-level Texas quarterback and a 2020 Southern California talent from a powerhouse program. UA also addressed a position of need, adding a big-legged specialist.

To top it off we will look at the tight end position group and answer some reader questions.

There’s a lot to cover so let’s get to it in this week’s SitRep.

Grant Gunnell, QB

We’ll start with the gunslinger from Houston. Arizona had him out on an official visit in late April and since then the ‘Cats have been right in the thick of things. Arizona has been trending recently with the 4-star signal caller, and with Gunnell’s relationship with Kevin Sumlin and Noel Mazzone, it’s not too surprising.

Ohio State and LSU will be Arizona’s biggest competition, but if the ‘Cats pull the upset, it not only sets the tone for 2019, but for future classes as well. Gunnell’s commitment to UA would also give the ‘Cats a huge boost in Texas and players who normally wouldn’t look at Arizona could end up being more serious about playing in Tucson. This is definitely a recruitment to watch in the coming weeks.

Kyle Ostendorp, P

Next we will move on to the newest member of Arizona’s 2019 class. On Monday night Ostendorp gave the Wildcats his pledge, joining Logan Wilson. as UA’s second 2019 commit.

Ostendorp’s announcement came hours after UA offered him. Ostendorp has a strong leg, averaging 41.3 yards per punt in his junior season. That kind of kicking can flip field position in a hurry. He has decent hang time on his punts, too.

It has been made perfectly clear that Kevin Sumlin and company are not messing around when it comes to correcting special teams issues.


Darion Green-Warren, CB

Arizona received some more good news Monday when one of the best players on the West Coast for 2020 released his Top 5 schools. The Santa Ana-Mater Dei 4-star has a list of Arizona, USC, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and Wisconsin.

As of now, Oklahoma and USC are considered the favorites but Green-Warren’s relationship with Demetrice Martin has the ‘Cats right in the thick of things. He will be announcing his college choice on July 4, and even if he doesn’t choose UA, I would expect Martin to continue recruiting him.

Green-Warren is the 13th-ranked cornerback and 105th player overall in the 2020 class, per 247Sports.

Tight Ends

Key Returners: Bryce Wolma and Jamie Nunley

Key Losses: Trevor Wood

Key Newcomers: Zach Williams and Jake Peters

Returner Notes: Both Wolma and Nunley took over the position in 2017 from Trevor Wood after the latter was sidelined with an injury. And the young freshmen did not disappoint. Wolma became one of the more consistent receiving options for Arizona and improved his run blocking throughout the season.

Nunley not only was a solid run blocker but he too was a solid receiving option. He has good hands and toughness, as does Wolma, and has some speed that Wolma doesn’t.

Both players didn’t make too much noise during Arizona’s open scrimmage or spring game but it would be a huge shock if offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone didn’t incorporate them into the offense.

Newcomer Notes: Both newcomers add to an already talented group. Williams and Peters bring what coaches want in their tight ends. Williams was used mainly as a receiver in high school but put on the needed weight to make the transition to tight end at the next level. He has great hands and runs solid routes. His flexibility can allow him to split out wide and be a big-bodied receiver.

Peters was on track for an explosive high school career before an Achilles injury sidelined him for a year. Still, the Wildcat legacy had a solid senior season, showcasing great run blocking and hands.

This group of tight ends will be the most talented group at the position that I can remember (Gronk was one player).

2019 TE Target

As of now, the ‘Cats aren’t really looking at too many tight ends but there is one prospect I want to highlight, as I can see him eventually playing in Tucson.

Dez Melton, 3-star

6-foot-4/210 pounds/Deer Valley High School (Glendale, AZ)

Career Stats (10 games): 8 rec, 148 yds, 1 TD; 236 car, 1,701 yds, 19 TD

Melton was mainly used as a running back for Deer Valley last year but he has the versatility to line up on the line or split out wide. He is a tough player and runs hard when he has the ball. He is deceptively fast for his size and has a little wiggle. He is someone I can see Arizona use like Jamie Nunley — line up on the line or sometimes split wide. Melton recently took a visit down to Tucson and it seems the ‘Cats have started to single him out a bit. This is a recruitment I’d keep an eye on as the cycle unfolds.

Reader Questions

From @azjangle: How are we addressing depth on the offensive line?

The ‘Cats are scouring the country for offensive lineman. As of Monday night, UA has offered 29 offensive lineman from all over the country. That shows you they are tracking the issue. Arizona is doing well with a few, including Bailey Elder, Logan Sagapolu, and McKade Mettauer. Due to limited scholarships, though, the 2019 class is going to be small, somewhere around 13 as it stands. I do expect UA to look into the grad transfer market and look into players like Florida transfer Andrew Mike.

One reason Arizona is in this situation is during the 2017 cycle they only brought in Edgar Burrola. They did bring in three o-linemen for the 2018 class and I’d expect them to bring in another three in 2019.

From @jamescasillas: Does Arizona finish with a Top 25 recruiting class?

For the 2019 class? No. But I’d expect it to be hovering around the Top 35. Now I do expect Sumlin and crew to consistently have classes ranging from 25 to 35 every season. Now if Arizona lands Gunnell, that could cause a snowball effect where UA gets multiple high-level prospects. But only time will tell. I say stay patient. Sumlin will have better and higher-rated classes than the previous regime.

2019 Watchlist

This is a new section in the SitRep where we keep a running list of players that we believe will commit to Arizona soon or players they are doing well with. It will be updated every week.

Jalen Cropper: 4-star Athlete; 22nd ranked ATH; Clovis, CA

Grant Gunnell: 4-star Pro-style Quarterback; 3rd ranked Pro QB; Houston, TX

Elijah Higgins: 4-star Wide Receiver; 24th ranked WR; Austin, TX

Drake Jackson: 4-star Weakside Defensive End; 27th ranked WDE; Corona, CA

Tre’Mon Morris-Brash: 4-star Weakside Defensive End; 21st ranked WDE; Washington, D.C.

MyKael Wright: 4-star Cornerback; 5th ranked CB; Valencia, CA

Stephon Wright: 4-star Strongside Defensive End; 14th ranked SDE; Los Angeles, CA

Nathaniel Beal III: 3-star Wide Receiver; 105th ranked WR; Houston, TX

Bailey Elder: 3-star Offensive Tackle; 96th ranked OT; Tacoma, WA

Brandon Joseph: 3-star Safety: 79th ranked S; College Station, TX

Michael Lynn: 3-star Offensive Tackle; 60th Ranked OT; Greenwood Village, CO

Shamar Martin: 3-star Cornerback; 47th ranked CB; San Diego, CA

Dez Melton: 3-star Athlete; 75th ranked ATH; Glendale, AZ

McKade Mettauer: 3-star Offensive Guard; 38th ranked OG; Houston, TX

Sio Nofoagatoto’a: 3-star Defensive Tackle; 83rd ranked DT; Clearwater, FL

Mark Perry: 3-star Safety; 35th ranked S; Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Seth Robinson: 3-star Outside Linebacker; 57th ranked OLB; Scottsdale, AZ

Logan Sagapolu: 3-star Center; 4th ranked C; Lehi, UT

Eddie Siaumau: 3-star Safety; 109th ranked S; Pago Pago, AS

Nassir Sims: 3-star Defensive Tackle; 95th ranked DT; Goodyear, AZ

Shae Suiaunoa: 3-star Athlete; 73rd ranked ATH; Houston, TX

Jaden Tauanu’u: 3-star Outside Linebacker; 108th ranked OLB; Pittsburg, CA

Khyheem Waleed: 3-star Wide Receiver; 84th ranked WR; Queen Creek, AZ

Kwabena Watson: 3-star Outside Linebacker; 50th ranked OLB; Fresno, CA

Cameron Wiley: 3-star Athlete; 99th ranked ATH; Las Vegas, NV

Jalen Williams: 3-star Outside Linebacker; 105th ranked OLB; Phoenix, AZ

Michael Wiley: 2-star Running Back; 122nd ranked RB; Houston, TX

Devyn Butler: Unranked Cornerback; Allen, TX