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Arizona’s December signees add much-needed size to the roster

Offensive linemen, defensive linemen, corners, wide receivers. You name it.

Houston v Arizona Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats have secured 16 signees during the early signing period, and while this class might be lacking the talent of some previous classes, it does make up for it by adding size at positions of severe need.

Arguably the top positions Arizona needed to fill were wide receiver, defensive line and offensive line, probably in that order.

It seems like Arizona stopped recruiting size at wide receiver since they landed Trey Griffey and Cayleb Jones.

Now they bring in four pass catchers standing over 6-foot-4.

Tre Adams might be one of my favorite recruits of the class. A 6-foot-3 receiver out of Frisco, Texas who has a knack to go up for a ball. Thomas Marcus, a 6-foot-4 San Diego product seems a bit more raw, but nonetheless provides the size.

I’m hesitant when it comes to tight ends, but Bryce Wolma and Coach Calvin Magee really made some changes together at the position this season.

I absolutely love Zach Williams, who is kind of a tweener tight end/receiver. I see this guy producing big time wherever he lines up. He can block, get downfield, get up for a ball or use his body to secure a catch in traffic.

Jake Peters seems to be more of a traditional tight end, but checks off all the boxes for what you could ask for from a tight end.

Arizona adds much needed size up front with 6-foot-4, 320 pound defensive tackle Mykee Irving, 6-foot-5, 315 pound defensive tackle P.J. Johnson and 6-foot-3, 255 pound defensive end Nahe Sulunga

To be honest, I’m not too impressed with Irving. He has incredible size, but that might play a big role in his ranking, and production on the field going up against high school kids, relying less on technique.

Johnson has size to match Irving, and this seems like a flier late in the process much like Sione Taufahema in the 2017 class. I’ll take the size, and I do like the junior college experience.

Sulunga as a defensive end is very intriguing. He has the size and speed, but I also wouldn’t rule out a position change to stud linebacker if he sheds some pounds or defensive tackle if he can add good weight. A very intriguing, Derrick Turituri and Kylan Wilborn-like player here.

Arizona addresses some offensive line issues and bring in three guys, Donovan Laie at 6-foot-6, 290 pounds, David Watson at 6-foot-5, 290 pounds and a junior college transfer in Steven Bailey at 6-foot-2, 290 pounds.

Laie has some incredible high school accomplishments — he First-Team All-San Diego three times — and Watson is a legacy guy who is almost identical in size.

But behind their size I can’t help but notice the inferior competition Watson goes up against in his film. Can’t knock him for that, but it’s something I noticed immediately.

Arizona needs to replace both guards. And I’m not totally sold that 4-star Michael Eletise, junior college transfer Maisen Knight, Michigan State transfer Thiyo Lukusa or third year guy Alex Kosinski win those jobs immediately, so there’s a shot for Bailey.

We also see two big corners, McKenzie Barnes (6-foot-2) and Jhevon Hill (6-foot-3). There’s not a lot of viable depth at corner right now, so these two can get in immediately.

The last few years Rich Rodriguez has adopted this recruiting philosophy where he wants guys to be big enough to move up a position if necessary. His corners to be able to play safeties, safeties up to linebacker and so on.

While I don’t think this class is as talented, I do have to give credit to the staff for constantly pursuing size now, with only one or two 5-foot-9 defensive backs, running backs and receivers mixed in now.

The staff hit the nail on the head here with size, and it can lead to versatility. It now really just comes down to how well the staff can utilize it.