The Arizona Wildcats have now lost two pivotal pieces to the defensive line, one of which was expected to have three years of eligibility in Josh Allen. While there’s still a chance that he rejoins the program after spending a season at Eastern Arizona College, I would expect Arizona to begin addressing their defensive line concerns.
While I think U of A is in strong contention for 4-star end Hunter Echols and 3-star end Jalen Harris, there’s one guy who the Wildcats are in extremely good position to land should they have the ability to make room for him.
Tyler O’Neil is ranked as a 3-star prospect according to Scout, but he has a lot of great upside that the Arizona coaching staff has already spotted. He is a long 6-foot-6, 220 pound end out of Long Beach Poly High School (Long Beach, CA), another California powerhouse program.
He might just be a late bloomer, as he didn’t get too many reps as a junior. But this summer he has captured the attention of quite a few programs while attending various camps all throughout California.
Slowly, schools are catching on to him.
"Right now I only have the offer from Arizona but the schools that are still looking at me are USC, Washington State, Boise State and Tulsa," O’Neil told me.
He was just recently on campus at The Closing and really enjoyed his visit.
"It was great," he said about his visit to Tucson. "The staff and the facilities were amazing. And it really felt like I could fit right in."
He first talked to defensive coordinator Marcel Yates, who was the one who offered him. Now he has been in touch with defensive line coach Vincent Amey every now and then. The two have a strong relationship; it’s to the point where O’Neil comes to him for advice on improving as a player.
O’Neil plans to make it out for an official visit for the USC game on October 15th. That seems to be a large day for Arizona football recruiting, with many recruits picking that date for their official.
While he hasn’t decided on a timeline to commit, he will be focusing on academics and how much he will be able to play when choosing his future college. Based on both of those qualifications, Arizona seems to be a strong contender for O’Neil.
If U of A has room, I think O’Neil is a guy who could fill in on the defensive line. There might be other options, but O’Neil certainly has the interest for Arizona.
His junior highlights are below, where he recorded 18 tackles and 2.5 sacks in seven games.