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Analyzing new Arizona commit Dion Wilson

Wildcats moved quickly to pick up a replacement DE

dion-wilson-arizona-wildcats-college-football-recruiting-2019-analysis 247Sports

The Arizona Wildcats have added a new defensive end to the 2020 in Dion Wilson, who announced his commitment to Kevin Sumlin and the staff on Friday. Our original story can be found here.

Here’s a closer look at the new recruit.

Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 252 pounds

School/Hometown: Orange Vista (Perris, Calif.)

Offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Hawaii, New Mexico, Sacramento State

Rankings (per 247 Sports): No. 1,351 overall, No. 118 athlete, No. 112 in California


Gabe Encinas: After Arizona lost a commitment from Robert Wooten, the staff quickly rebounds with Wilson, who at first glance has a stellar frame and build.

At 6-foot-5, 252 pounds, Wilson shows off terrific athleticism, as he also plays basketball (averaging six points and six rebounds) and runs track at Orange Vista. It’s a very new school, opening in 2016, having just two seasons of varsity football but it finished last year with a 12-2 record and made California’s Division 13 state championship.

While he primarily has played tight end, Wilson has transitioned to make defensive end his home position. There is not a lot of film on Wilson on defense, but he has great strength and pursuit off the edge. He also has some explosiveness, posting a 28-inch vertical at The Opening Regional, which is excellent for his size.

There is a ton of versatility here with Wilson. He can chisel up and play a pure defensive end, or he can add to his frame and play defensive tackle. He could literally play anywhere on the line depending on the scheme and package but ultimately I think 280 would be a great weight that allows him to play different spots all throughout his career.

His recruitment is just starting to take off. He’s a late bloomer as he did not receive his first offer until April. Since receiving offers, he entered the rankings around the 1,700 mark, climbed as high as the 1,100’s immediately after and has since hovered around the 1,400’s. In June he won DL MVP at USC’s Rising Stars Camp, an award that incoming Arizona freshman Kwabena Watson previously won.

It wouldn’t surprise me if some big-time programs add to his offer list late in the cycle and I think he can be a top-700 player by National Signing Day.

This is a tremendous save by the staff, and capped off a solid week where they landed a supremely talented running back in Jalen John and one of the best long snappers in the nation in Kameron Hawkins.

Brandon Combs: This is an underrated pickup by Arizona. The ‘Cats are going to bring him in as a defensive end and that is a wise decision.

First off, he a big boy. Wilson is sitting at 6-foot-5 (maybe even 6-foot-6) and around 250-255 pounds. Add about 30-35 pounds to his frame and he’s sitting pretty. He also has versatility, and that cannot be overlooked. He has the ability to play outside or in, once he adds more good weight, and that is something the staff really loves about him.

Second, he’s a freak athlete for his size. He’s quicker than he looks and is relentless in chasing down ball carriers. But the best example of his quickness is when he plays tight end on offense. He’s not crazy fast, but faster than someone his size should be.

Third, he’s incredibly strong. You have to look no further than his film. While playing DE, he has no problem shedding blocks with his strong arms and hands. He uses those same long, strong arms to stop the ball carrier in his tracks before brining him down. He seems to also generate a hefty amount of power from his legs, causing the offensive lineman to be initially moved back when he collides with them.

Finally, he is tough. You can see it in the way he plays. Whether on offense or defense he isn’t afraid of contact in the slightest bit. He also plays with a nasty streak and that is something you want in any defensive lineman.

Overall a great pickup for Arizona after Wooten decommitted. I’m very eager to see his progression this season as a DE and even more interested to see his versatility at the next level.