As walk-ons, Rourke Freeburg, Jaydin Young and Treydan Stukes never got to experience the fanfare of signing a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Arizona.
At a team meeting Wednesday, head football coach Jedd Fisch made the trio center stage as they signed scholarship papers and donned an Arizona cap in front of their jubilant teammates.
On a projector screen behind them was an ESPN graphic from when LeBron James made “The Decision” to sign with the Miami Heat in 2010.
“These three guys certainly deserve it,” Fisch said.
All three are expected to contribute on Arizona’s defense this season. Young, a second-year freshman free safety, has been running with the first-team defense in preseason practice. Stukes, a second-year cornerback, and Freeburg, a redshirt junior linebacker, are key backups.
Stukes is the No. 3 cornerback and Freeburg is the backup Viper, a hybrid safety/linebacker position.
Making their scholarships even more meaningful is that all three players are Arizona natives, another instance of how much Fisch values in-state talent.