31 freshmen BEGIN THE JOURNEY
Aidan Docherty is one of three Shawnigan Lake standouts to join the Wildcats this Fall.
Sept 10- Arizona Rugby formally introduced their 2021 recruiting class today, with 31 Freshmen joining the Wildcats in this year's recruiting class. The 2021 crop looks to be one of the largest and deepest in recent years, with many already making an impact in Tucson.
Three in-state products headline this class, with Fullback Eli Palmer and Wing Ashton Liddell (Tempe) fresh off impressive seasons both at club and academy level with Eagle Impact Academy. Tucson standout Breyton DePoint makes the short trek after emerging this past season as one of the strongest back row prospects on the West coast. Out of Colorado, Flyhalf Tucker Lane (Mullen HS) and Prop Dalton Slaughter (Palmer HS) give the Wildcats a strong presence, while Flyhalf Cade Purcell (Westlake HS) and Center Mattox King (Woodlands) continue the long line of Texas talents to join the Wildcats.
California, always a hotbed of Rugby talent, produces nine prospects in this year's class, with five of them featuring in the front row from national power programs. Addison Barrette, Caeden Chase, Troy Norman, and Graham Wyckoff (South OC Raptors), Ben Herbes (San Clemente HS), and CJ De Vault (San Diego Mustangs) make up the strong Southern California contingent. Up North, Liam Swanson (SFGG), Tucker Johnstone (Jesuit), and Jack Radachy (Marin) are the latest from three regular Arizona contributors over the years.
MIDWEST AND EAST COAST REACH
While nearly ten years in to his tenure with the Wildcats, his east coast roots are present in this year's class with DC-area backs Thomas Figley (Fort Hunt) and Connor McCormick (St. John's HS). Figley follows in the footsteps of older brother Robert and joins him in the Wildcats for 2022. Out of New York, USA U18 Flyhalf Sebastian Hickey (Fordham Prep) and Scrumhalf Nolan McCaffrey (Xavier HS) join the side, while prospects Matteo Berenger (Fremd HS) and Brody Roth (New Trier HS) look to make an impact out of Chicago.
Following in the footsteps of standouts like Riley Kerr and James Rivers, this year's class is filled with prospects from overseas, with four of the eight holding US citizenship. USA U18 Hooker Cameron Blair joins the Wildcats out of Dublin, while speedsters Antonio Gonzalez (Spain) and Gustave Martinez (France) and physical back rower Freddy Dzisiewski (UK) make up the rest of the European contingent. Pacific Smiley (Indonesia) makes the long trek to the Wildcats back row, while a much shorter trip for three Canadian signings takes place for Ted Champion, Jordan Dixon, and Aidan Docherty (Shawnigan Lake School).
This year's class, when added to the 2021 transfers and walk-ons gives the Wildcats over 75 student-athletes in the Fall squad that is already working hard. "We take recruitment very seriously, and it's been evident in the early days that we've found not just talented athletes but incredible people. They are leaders but they are coachable. They are skilled but they have massive potential on-field. Can't wait to see them grow over these next four years" said Director of Rugby Sean Duffy.
2021 Recruiting Class
-De Vault, CJ