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Evaluating new Arizona commit Chris Roland

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An in-depth look at Arizona’s third commit of the weekend

NCAA Football: Arizona at Oregon State Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats landed their third commitment of the weekend Sunday when three-star athlete Chris Roland announced his pledge.

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

Height/Weight: 6-foot, 180 pounds

School/Hometown: William Knight High School/Palmdale, CA

Offers: Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon State, San Jose State, Wyoming

Rankings: No. 1,627 national, No. 145 athlete, No. 177 player in California.

Analysis

Brandon Combs: Roland is a pure athlete and has the versatility to play receiver, safety, or corner. Watching his film I like him better at receiver. The more and more I watch it though, the more I can envision him playing DB at the next level.

When I spoke to him a couple of months ago he stated that most, if not all, the schools recruiting him were looking at bringing him in at corner. He also stated that he has been really working on his technique at the position so he can be ready for the next level.

I like what Roland does bring. As stated, he is an athlete, plain and simple. He has the speed to keep up with receivers down the field and uses his skills as a receiver to make plays on the ball.

In his career, on defense, he has 72 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, 9 interceptions, and 7 passes broken up in two seasons. That’s not bad production at all.

He still is raw at the position and he knows that. I know that the staff really likes him as well. This is the type of player that Demetrice Martin can mold into a solid corner.

Gabe Encinas: Arizona desperately needs corners and the staff lands two this weekend. Maurice Gaines Jr. is a future No. 1 corner for Arizona, and they needed to pair him up with another given the lack of depth.

Roland is a pure athlete. With that being said, and after watching his film, I think he projects best as a wide receiver, rather than a defensive player.

His athleticism serves him far better on offense to wiggle through the defense and make plays after the catch. That also translates well into punt return.

On defense he primarily plays safety, and does most of his work down the middle at free safety. He has good speed and recognition to cover the top of the field and make a play on the ball.

But right now it’s hard to see his skill set on film translate over to corner, and it will be interesting to see how the staff develops him into that role.

Roland is an athlete. He can play receiver, safety and return punts. I’m just not sure if corner is the best spot.

Arizona landed Logan Wilson early in the cycle, and saw him decommit not too long after. Going from Wilson to Roland is a bit disappointing and underwhelming when you compare the film.

Roland is a guy who you probably wait on and take late in the cycle to fill the class as a backup option. This is a small class and Arizona needs to be picky, and I can’t help but think that Arizona can’t do better in the cornerback market.

Still, Arizona is starting to pick things up in California and it landed another really versatile athlete for the class.