The injury report has included some key names for the Arizona Wildcats over the last two seasons. And now even the future of Arizona has struggled with injuries this season, with four notable guys ending their senior season much earlier than expected.
While Rich Rodriguez has been hopeful that this class will have immediate contributors, much like the 2016 class that has eight of the 18 already playing for the Cats.
I think it’s safe to say that Rodriguez could have as many as ten of his 2017 commits playing immediately for Arizona, with these four likely healing up and taking some time to acclimate themselves to the college routine. None of the four players are early enrollees.
3-star TE Bryce Gilbert
The Higley coaching staff had told me that the 3-star in-state tight end suffered an ankle injury in the middle of the season, which has held him out for the remainder of his senior season.
This was one of the most productive offenses in the state, which is currently a No. 2 seed in the 5A playoffs. The Knights never scored less than 36 points in a game this season, putting up 49 or more points seven times this season, including 63-plus points in four games.
It’s a shame because he was a guy who could have definitely risen in the rankings with another productive season as the do-it-all guy. In his junior campaign, he had 65 receptions for 1,056 yards and 16 touchdowns. In his four games this season, he had just 15 receptions for 214 yards and four touchdowns before suffering his injury.
He held offers to Arizona State, Louisville, and Nebraska prior to his firm commitment to UA.
3-star DT Kurtis Brown
Arizona has been longing for size on the defensive line and they were able to add some with Kurtis Brown, a 6-foot-2, 280 pound defensive tackle out of Liberty High School (Bakersfield, CA), the same high school as redshirt freshman Anthony Mariscal.
Brown suffered a torn meniscus just past the midway point of the season, which did require surgery. He will be 100% by the time he arrives on campus after his high school graduation.
He finished this season with 28 tackles. As a junior, he racked up 96 tackles and six sacks.
3-star CB Malik Hausman
I had known that Malik Hausman had been dealing with a lower body injury, but I had no idea it was a torn ACL that he suffered on his unofficial visit to Arizona after being clipped by a speeding car.
That’s pretty disappointing considering the talent that Hausman would have faced everyday at Bishop Gorman in practice, and the talent he would have faced by playing through their schedule.
Still, he’s had a good attitude about the injury, still involved with the team at practices and helping in any way that he can.
Arizona is bringing in six defensive backs, about three who can play corner. From the beginning, I didn’t think Hausman was one of the guys that could come in immediately, but given one year to recover and learn will certainly give Arizona some depth for the long haul.
He had 42 tackles and three interceptions as a junior.
3-star OT Edgar Burrola
The 6-foot-6, 305 pound OT was the first commitment of the summer that started the fire for Arizona’s recruiting class. He acted fast on his offer and committed, later picking up a Louisville offer.
He was the staple for the Desert Pines offensive line and appears to have suffered a shoulder injury which required surgery. I had noticed that he posted a photo of him on the sidelines in street clothes, but was unaware of the torn labrum. He will be out for five months for his recovery.