Commitment: Arizona adds 2020 DE Paris Shand
Arizona had five remaining spots in its 2020 class when National Signing Day came to an end Wednesday. There is more work to be done by Kevin Sumlin and his staff, but Saturday another piece was added to the group as Canadian defensive end Paris Shand announced his commitment to the Wildcats over Rutgers.
UA's new defensive coaches jumped into Shand's recruitment last month and quickly built a relationship with the 6-foot-5 prospect, who attends the Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut. Eventually, the Toronto native made his way to Tucson for an official visit a few weekends ago and he came away impressed with what he saw and felt on campus at Arizona.
He visited Rutgers last weekend on an official trip and the Scarlet Knights had plenty of buzz heading into that trip. However, UA made enough of an impression on Shand's visit to the school that it outweighed all the positives of playing at Rutgers, including being closer to his family.
"People really care about Arizona, the school, and I think it's just a great environment overall to live in," Shand recently said about his experience at UA.
One of the biggest reasons Shand is headed clear across the country to continue his football career is Arizona's newest staff members. The 2020 prospect built a good relationship with defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads and defensive line coach Stan Eggen even in the short time he was able to get to know them ahead of his decision.
"I really like the new defensive staff," he said. "I like coach Eggen, coach Rhoads and their philosophies. ... I think that they're gonna do good things. That's one of the main reasons why I like Arizona so much because of coach Eggen and coach Rhoads"
Part of what will be important for Shand as he makes the move to Arizona this summer will be development. He is a former basketball player who made the move to the football field after he was urged to do so back in 11th grade by one of the coaches at his school.
Since then he has quickly learned how to be productive as a football player, but he understands there will be more work that has to be done in college to continue his progress. That is another big part of why Arizona is now his future home.
"I talked to coach Eggen about my skill set and we've talked about how I'm longer and I'm faster," Shand said. "In the Pac-12 there's a lot of passing so my skill set could be very useful to the team, but I haven't played that long so we talked about getting my skill set more refined with the rest of my skills right now."
The addition of Shand now means Arizona has 21 members in its 2020 class with the big defensive end being the fifth defensive prospect to join the program since the end of the early signing period back in December. Shand is the second Canadian recruit to sign with UA in the 2020 class joining offensive lineman Leif Magnuson who is from Saskatchewan.
In all, Arizona has signed three international recruits in the class with German receiver Roberto Miranda already on campus as a midyear enrollee after he signed in December.