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February 5, 2014

Arizona signing day: What to expect

The recruiting cycle for the class of 2014 finally comes to an end Wednesday. While there is still the matter of one big decision to come - and it is never wise to rule out a signing day surprise - Arizona is mostly done.

Now, it is just a matter of faxing over the letter of intent and making things official. With that in mind, here is what to expect:

Marcus Griffin

About that decision to be made...

Griffin, who originally committed to Washington State before opening his recruitment back up in November, is down to four schools and is set to announce his decision at 7 a.m. PT.

The four-star Bellevue (Wash.) defensive tackle is still considering Wazzu, in addition to Arizona, California and Mississippi State. Griffin visited Tucson in late January.

The 6-3, 285-pounder is ranked 22nd overall at his position by Rivals.com, and third among all players in the state.

Speaking of defense

Of the 21 unsigned commits, a little less than half are on the defensive side of the ball.

While questions about who the Wildcats will have at quarterback and running back are at the forefront of many minds, the greatest immediate impact in this year's class could come on defense. Arizona will look to replace starting linebackers Jake Fischer and Marquis Flowers, as well as nose tackle Tevin Hood and cornerback Shaquille Richardson.

Already on campus is Jeff Worthy, an early enrollee from the JUCO ranks who will be a candidate to plug the middle of the three-man front. If Griffin chooses the Wildcats, the chances of making the void left behind by Hood disappear increases greatly.

The currently committed group already includes a quintet of four-star recruits, and three of them could make an impact on defense. Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian teammates Jamardre Cobb (linebacker) and Marquis Ware (possible defensive end) will make things official, along with in-state Tucson Salpointe star Cameron Denson - a two-way talent at receiver and cornerback.

A look back

The number of stars in front of a name becomes irrelevant once the practices begin. Just look at last year's signing class, which featured under-the-radar talents receiver Nate Phillips and linebacker Scooby Wright.

Both were Pac-12 Conference honorable mention honorees by the end of the season.

Meanwhile, four-star quarterback Anu Solomon redshirted and fellow four-star Logan Stott never made it to spring camp and quit the team.

There may be another diamond in the rough in a class ranked 25th in the country heading into signing day.

Stay tuned to GOAZCATS.com for articles, highlights and analysis on the future Wildcats throughout the day.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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