Arizona lost its cornerbacks coach earlier this week. Whoever the Wildcats hire to oversee that position will have at least one more player at his disposal.
The UA has picked up a commitment from junior college defensive back Charles Yates Jr., who was in Tucson this week for an official visit. He picked the Wildcats over offers from Kansas and Nevada.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Yates spent the 2022 season at Pierce College in Los Angeles, where in 10 games he played running back, receiver and corner and also returned kicks. On defense he had 25 tackles, adding 742 all-purpose yards on offense and special teams with a receiving touchdown.
Originally from Mobile, Ala., Yates is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 100 JUCO transfer in the country and the third-best athlete.
He gives Arizona another player at a position that’s on the thin side and needs to fill a starting spot. The Wildcats lost 3-year starter Christian Roland-Wallace, who transferred to USC, but returns Treydan Stukes, Isaiah Rutherford, Ephesians Prysock and Tacario Davis.
The Wildcats signed five defensive backs in December, though some will end up playing safety for assistant Chuck Cecil.
Cornerbacks coach DeWayne Walker announced his departure on Thursday after two seasons with Arizona.
Yates is Arizona’s 23rd known commitment in the 2023 recruiting class, 22 of which signed in December. The Wildcats also have signed four players out of the NCAA transfer portal and are pursuing several others.