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Evaluating new Arizona commit Maurice Gaines Jr.

An in-depth look at Arizona’s latest cornerback commitment

Photo via @Moe_Gaines on Twitter

The Arizona Wildcats landed their 10th commitment Saturday night in the form of 3-star cornerback Maurice Gaines Jr.

Our original story can be found here, and below is some additional analysis on the defensive back.

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 185 pounds

High School/Hometown: St. Thomas More School (Oakdale, CT)/Sacramento, California

Offers: Arizona, Oregon State, Indiana, San Diego State, UCLA, Syrcause, and FAU

Ranking: No. 1,068 national, No. 108 cornerback, No. 9 in Connecticut


Gabe Encinas: A rangy corner with very good size, Gaines has long arms that will help him jam receivers at the line and height that allows him to get up and make a play on the ball.

He has a high football IQ where he’s always keeping an eye on the backfield to follow the ball. He recognized a run or screen, disengages on the block and attacks, and can read the quarterback and break onto the ball as well.

Where Gaines excels most is his ability to project ball placement, battle for position, high point the ball and get a hand on it.

You’d like to see more film on him in press coverage. The big concern is if he’s able to stay on the hips of the opposing receiver and go stride for stride on a route tree, not just shuffling and bailing for a deep ball or breaking on the ball after giving a cushion to work with.

This is a near top-1000 prospect that doesn’t have a great offer list, but the film tells way more, and he’s a guy who should have more offers and be ranked inside the top 800.

Arizona is desperate for cornerback depth, and this is a nice piece for cornerback coach Demetrice Martin to start with.

Brandon Combs: Gaines is another underrated prospect. He has really fluid hips which allow him to flip around or change direction quickly. His vision and eye discipline is also solid. He can read the receiver’s cues when he is in man-to-man press or the QB’s eyes when he is in zone.

I agree with Gabe that I wish there was more film on him and would like to see more press coverage.

Nevertheless, he does have a knack for making a play on the ball. I also like his speed. It’s not blow-you-out-of-the-water speed, but he has the ability to chase down a runner if need be.

One thing I saw a couple of times from him was that he actually squares up and wraps up the running back when playing the run. That is rather unusual to see in a high school corner but is something he does rather well.

As Gabe mentioned, Arizona is looking a little thin at cornerback. I fully expect the ‘Cats to take at least one more corner this class.