2020 recruiting class announced
George Niethammer and his teammates are in the midst of a unique preseason . (Photo credits: Alex Ho)
December 8- Arizona formally announced their 24 new additions today for the 2020 preseason. This year's crop of freshmen and transfers is another standout group of student-athletes from eight states and three countries.
Pace, Power, and Playmaking
The addition of explosive athletes via recruitment and transfers has the Wildcats players and staff excited for the 2021 season. In the halfbacks, USA U18 Scrumhalf George O'Brien (NC) and Flyhalf Alex Park (TX) have already worked well together in preseason, while Scrumhalf Mauricio Murguia-Sarin brings national championship experience from powerhouse Jesuit HS (CA). Flyhalf Tim Chavez joins as a transfer from New Mexico Tech, pursuing his PhD and looking for one final season of Rugby with his new team.
Center was a priority for this year's recruitment, and the results are already apparent in the performances of the Freshmen. Joining from Jesuit alongside Murguia-Sarin is Inside Center Hunter Donelson, while local product Luke Regina is the first signing from Salpointe High School. USA U18 EJ Freeman (UK) joins the side and has already turned heads with his work in training, while Abe Turpen (ID) has done the same in the weight room. Crossover prospect Brandon Gavel has also been working in the centers and showing well. On the outside, USA U18 Jacob Broselle (WA) and another Jesuit HS product, Tyler Sloan, have put in strong preseason work this Fall on the wing, while Aidan John (AZ) and Emmett Wingfield (FL) join as Fullbacks. South African Fullback Ryan Thompson also joins the side after transferring from Lindenwood University. "A really impressive group here in the backs. To see them mesh with our current playmakers like of Figley, Fulton, Rogers, etc gives you a lot of great ideas on attack" said Director of Rugby Sean Duffy.
Arizona has welcomed in another strong batch of physical, smart athletes up front this year, following recent arrivals like Lock James Rivers. In the front row, Hooker Logan Carter is the fourth Jesuit HS arrival while Brophy Prep (AZ) standouts Hooker Mustafa Khaled and Lock Matthew Nickerson have already made an impact in the preseason. Mark Santar (CA) also joins the front row mix. Also of note is crossover prospect Jack Koceman, with the 6'4 250-lb former Arizona Tight End impressing in his short time so far.
Alongside Nickerson at Lock are two standouts in USA U18 Jack Brown (NC) and Trent Fletcher (CA). Both Brown and Fletcher bring national championship experience, helping their sides to deep runs in the National Invitational the past two years. In the back row, Number Eight Oscar Elvin (UK) and transfer Flankers DJ Sansone (MO) and Jack Lewis (CA) give the Wildcats a whole new back row that looks to follow in the footsteps of PAC-12 and national standouts like Bronson Teles and Ben Scoular. "In the Forwards, this group has really bought in early and we've even seen a couple guys like Jack Brown take some leadership. That's exactly what we want to see" said Duffy.
Arizona has recently concluded another strong preseason of training in unique circumstances with COVID-19 restrictions. They now shift the focus to the kickoff of the 2021 season with the schedule to be announced when conditions allow.