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Arizona makes top 4 for 4-star TE Keyan Burnett, showing interest in ex-Alabama LB Ben Davis

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Former 5-star prospect Ben Davis has Arizona on his list of potential destinations
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The first sign the Arizona Wildcats were serious about bringing the tight end back into the offense was Jedd Fisch’s hiring of Jordan Paopao to coach the position.

The second is the interest one of the top tight ends in the 2022 recruiting class is showing in the UA.

Keyan Burnett, a 4-star prospect from Anaheim, Calif., has narrowed his choices down to the Wildcats and three other schools: ASU, Nebraska and USC.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Burnett is rated by 247Sports as the No. 222 player in the 2022 class, the eighth-best tight end and the No. 15 prospect from California. He plays for Servite High School after beginning his career at J Serra Catholic in San Capistrano.

“Burnett has a really nice combination of size and athleticism,” 247Sports’ Greg Biggins wrote. “He was a wide receiver early on and just kept getting bigger. He still plays receiver at the high school level but we think he’ll grow in to a hybrid pass catching tight end in college and be a major mismatch for opposing linebackers and safeties. He’s a good athlete who can run and make plays down the field.”

Servite is a hotbed of players Arizona is interested in, including 5-star wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan, 3-star dual-threat quarterback Noah Fifita and 2024 athlete Emmett Mosley.

Arizona currently has two commits in 2022: 3-star cornerback Tacario Davis and 3-star offensive lineman Grayson Stovall.

Wildcats reach out to former 5-star prospect who has left Alabama

In his pursuit of players from within the NCAA transfer portal, Fisch has focused mostly on guys with multiple years of eligibility. The exception was ex-Western Michigan linebacker Treshaun Hayward, who is a senior.

Grabbing Hayward was definitely worth it, since the 2019 Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year fits a major need for Arizona at inside linebacker.

It appears that Arizona is showing interest in another one-year rental at LB, one who was among the highest-rated prospects in the country when he came out of high schools.

Rivals.com recruiting director Mike Farrell is reporting that Arizona is among the schools pursuing ex-Alabama LB Ben Davis, a former 5-star prospect who entered the portal last week. Colorado, Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan State, Nebraska, Texas, USC and Virginia Tech are also expressing interest in the 6-foot-4, 250-pound redshirt senior.

A member of the 2016 recruiting class, 247Sports ranked him as the No. 10 player in the country as well as the top prospect from Alabama. Davis never lived up to those ratings, though, sitting out his first two seasons with the Crimson Tide and appearing in only 23 games from 2016-20 with just seven tackles and one sack.

Arizona will have seniors Hayward and Anthony Pandy at linebacker for 2021, but in new defensive coordinator Don Brown’s system it will need three linebackers on the field and Davis could fit that third spot well. The rest of the linebackers on the roster are freshmen or sophomores.