The Arizona Wildcats have been known to have wild success during the June official visit season under Jedd Fisch. There have been some big additions to the 2022 and 2023 classes during this time in the past. And it seems that tradition is continuing for the 2024 class.
Arizona got some very good news on the defensive side of the ball on Monday.
Keona Wilhite, a 3-star defensive line standout from Salpointe Catholic, publicly announced his commitment to the Wildcats.
Wilhite, who’s 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, is a problem off the edge and lined up over center. He has a very quick first step and is explosive off the snap. He has very long arms that help him engage and shed blocks to fly into the backfield. He has a great nose of the ball and, even if he’s unable to get into the backfield, he’s able to quickly shed blocks to limit the gain by the opposing team. He is a dual-threat coupled with teammate Elijah Rushing and does a good job exploiting the gaps when the other team focuses on Rushing. Wilhite is an effective bull-rusher as well. There were many instances last season of him blowing his blocker into the backfield and disrupting the timing on throws or knocking his blocker into the quarterback.
Wilhite was starting to see his recruiting interest increase before shutting it down. He had 8 total offers and chose the hometown ‘Cats over Washington, Arizona State, UCLA, BYU, Oregon State, Colorado, and Nebraska. He took official visits to UCLA and Oregon State before his OV to Arizona this past weekend. He has cancelled his trip to Seattle.
Per the Composite Rankings for 247Sports, Wilhite is the No. 701 player nationally, the No. 67 defensive lineman, and the 15th best player in Arizona. One should expect for his ranking to only increase.
He had a major impact in only 6 games during his junior campaign. He racked up 24 tackles, 10 TFL, 4.5 sacks, and a forced fumble for the Lancers last season.
Wilhite is the first Salpointe Lancer scholarship player that the Arizona Wildcats have landed since 3-star defensive lineman Justin Holt in 2016 class. Holt ended up having to medically retire from UA before picking football back up and transferring to Northern Arizona.
See below for his junior season highlights.