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Sometimes a coach betrays some of his inner emotions during recruiting day press conferences and that is exactly what happened when Arizona Coach Jedd Fisch talked about five star incoming freshman wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan.
From his cadence and mannerisms it was clear that Fisch has rarely worked with a college player of McMillan’s skill and that the immediate big-time expectations may not reside just on the offensive side of the ball as Fisch volunteered that McMillan could play some defensive back as well to fully utilize his ball skills.
And it didn’t stop there, the rightful gushing about UTEP sophomore transfer Jacob Cowing as being “the most sough after wide receiver transfer in the portal” while adding that incoming scat back Rayshon Luke possesses some Tyreek Hill qualities certainly didn’t come off as bluster.
Perhaps the most significant praise was saved for Hawaii interior lineman Jonah Savaiinaea a player that Fisch expects to play as a true freshman on the offensive line.
Fisch elaborated that he’s never see someone carry 330 pounds the way Savaiinaea does. And that statement checks out as he doesn’t look anywhere near that weight. Literally little to no gut and a 400 pound bench press to match.
The camaraderie among the players stuck out in a big way as well. After Fisch finished explaining that incoming freshman quarterback Noah Fifita is “really good,” Fifita’s high school teammate, McMillan was asked about incoming Washington State quarterback transfer Jayden de Laura. To which McMillan elaborated that he loved the addition because it’s more competition.
Fisch was also clearly happy with how the mixture of high school recruits and transfer portal players played out.
He pointed out that to build a program like Arizona it’s imperative to have the base of high school recruits and when Arizona caught fire with a specific unit like it did with the 2022 wide receiver class they will keep taking the players who are good enough to contribute and combined that with 5-7 portal kids who are able to contribute immediately.
To the exasperation of most UA fans the previous two coaching staffs generally waited until the very end to offer quality Tucson prospects. It was comical on all fronts to the point where players like ex-Salpointe Catholic offensive lineman Bruno Fina, son of legendary Arizona tackle John Fina, was only offered by Arizona after UCLA and USC offered. Not surprisingly, Fina decided to attend UCLA.
But this is a new coaching staff in name and deed and that was exemplified by the recent offer of Marana freshman athlete Dezmen Roebuck. Now, it’s incredibly early and impossible to foresee how a class of 2025 prospect will develop but Roebuck is the dynamic type of athlete and playmaker that certainly warrants an early offer.
On the recruiting front, Jedd Fisch and staff get it.