In addition to the 23 actual signings the Arizona Wildcats received on Wednesday, Rich Rodriguez also announced that 16 other players will be joining the team as preferred walk-ons.
Here are those players:
- WR-DB Izaiah Adams - Cathedral - Los Angeles, CA
- OL Tyrell Aponte - Peoria - Peoria, AZ
- DT Paige Birdine - Cathedral - Los Angeles, CA
- DE Dante Blissit - Desert Edge - Goodyear. AZ
- OL Edgar Burrola - Desert Pines - Las Vegas, NV
- S Rourke Freeburg - Desert Mountain - Scottsdale, AZ
- OL Tyson Gardner - Queen Creek - Queen Creek, AZ
- CB Malik Hausman - Bishop Gorman - Las Vegas, NV
- S Azizi Hearn - Oceanside - Oceanside, CA
- WR-RB D.J. Hinton - Tucson - Tucson, AZ
- WR Isaiah Lovett - Mountain View - Tucson, AZ
- RB Noah Pittenger - Brophy Prep - Phoenix, AZ
- LB-S Elijah Ruiz - Franklin - El Paso, TX
- WR Trevor Russell - Casa Grande - Case Grande, AZ
- LB Ken Samson - Ironwood Ridge - Oro Valley, AZ
- LB Rexx Tessler - Brophy Prep - Phoenix, AZ
Burrola and Hausman had been commits in the class with the main 23, but will blue shirt this season. According to this explainer from SB Nation, here’s what blue shirting means:
The blueshirt rule allows schools to put "unrecruited" athletes on scholarship once they arrive on campus, but count them against the next year's scholarship total, as long as they don't play.
Hinton is also expected to blue shirt.
The other name you may recognize is Isaiah Lovett. Yes, he is the son of former Wildcat player and current Arizona radio color guy Lamont Lovett. Isaiah averaged 113.8 receiving yards per game for Mountain View Marana this past season.
It should also be noted that there are two players on this list, Adams and Birdine, that attended Cathedral in Los Angeles. This is the same school that Arizona signee Rhedi Short attended.
Walk-ons have earned playing time — and eventually scholarships — in recent years at U of A, and there’s reason to believe that a couple of these guys could be in the mix down the road, but probably not right away.