CATS WELCOME DEEP, DIVERSE CLASS IN 2022
Jacob Hall has already made his presence felt in both 7s and 15s for the Wildcats. (Photo credits: Alex Ho)
Nov 7- Arizona formally announced their 2022 recruiting class today, with 26 new athletes beginning their journey in Tucson.
After key graduations the Wildcats have moved quickly to reload with several backs already making an impact on the Sevens stage.
Jacob Hall joins the Wildcats from Gold Coast, Australia and has already emerged as a key contributor in Sevens, with the Scrumhalf showing a skillset and a maturity that will suit him well over the next four years. Phoenix product Seth Catchpole joins Gerard Martin from Chile as two outstanding young Flyhalves that will compete with several others for the 10 jersey this Spring. Kole Kedzierski gives Arizona another local halfback prospect at Scrumhalf.
Three dynamic young centers join the Wildcats as Jared Broussard (TX), Mike McWilliams (TN), Charley Redknapp (UK) are already showing their stuff. Two exciting prospects on the outside from powerhouse Northern California programs join this year's class as Fullback Fletcher Popp continues the long line of Jesuit HS (CA) athletes wearing the red, white, and blue. Wing Dominic Soares joins the side fresh off winning a National Championship with Granite Bay (CA) and looks to be the latest great prospect from the Grizzlies. Wing Alex Pirkl joins the Cats after a successful run of his own with state champions Staples HS (CT).
"I've seen a lot from this group thus far, as they are already taking that next step" said Director of Rugby Sean Duffy. "From guys like Seth and Gerard learning an entirely new system, to guys like Charley and Dominic buying in to the entire process, this is a really good and deep group."
As the Wildcats added more and more challenging matches to their annual schedule, the requisite up-front talent and depth has joined the ranks as the team looks to push for a national championship. Transfer Number Eight Jack Bresland has made arguably one of the biggest impacts, with the Irish-American prospect from Belfast playing a key role in the Wildcats' preseason victory over Utah Valley. Another back row talent has emerged quickly in the Sevens group as Flanker Andreas Andersson has made the jump from Stockholm to Tucson.
At Lock, British-American prospect Taarik Alikhan has brought his 6'6" frame to Arizona and looks to be a great piece of the Wildcat's future, while Props Luke Boals, Jack Kerrigan, Isaac Morrill, and Jakub Wasila have already taken early steps to compete in the team's deep front row. The Wildcats have also been able to snag three physical back row prospects in close proximity as Dietrich Abinet (AZ), Chuck Williams (CO), and USA Under-18 Liam Parker (CA) have joined the forwards and shown the coaches what they can do through their workrate and performance. Brigham "Brick" DeVore has also made his presence felt with the Virginia Number Eight showing great promise in early sessions. Rounding out the forwards are transfer Flanker Brian Marson (CA), transfer Flanker Zak Lambert (Iowa Central CC), Lock Caden Raudelunas (CA), and Lock Alex Walter (CA) that all start their journey this Fall.
"Up front Bresland has been a real find, and now we're starting to see some guys really step up. Dietrich Abinet and Andreas Andersson are two to really keep an eye on as they both are showing a lot of promise. To play the Cals and BYUs every year you need to have the Forwards to match up and we're on our way to doing that" said Duffy.
Arizona is nearly through their Fall preseason at the moment, with a 2-0 overall Fifteens record and a run to the Cup Final of the West Coast Sevens on Treasure Island last month. Sevens travels to Stanford this week for PAC-12 Championships while Fifteens takes on San Diego State to close out the first semester next Saturday.
For the Wildcats full preseason schedule and results, click here.
-Dietrich Abinet- Tempe RFC (AZ)
-Taarik Alikhan- Epsom College (UK)
-Andreas Andersson- Blackrock College (IRE)
-Luke Boals- Xavier HS (NY)
-Jack Bresland- Rainey Endowed School (IRE)
-Jared Broussard- Strake Jesuit (TX)
-Ryan Bugg- Cathedral HS (CA)
-Seth Catchpole- Phoenix Firebirds (AZ)
-Brigham DeVore- Vienna (VA)
-Jacob Hall- Somerset College (AUS)
-Kole Kedzierski- Phoenix (AZ)
-Jack Kerrigan- San Francisco Golden Gate (CA)
-Zak Lambert- King Edward VII School (RSA)
-Brian Marson- Tri-City Thunder (CA)
-Gerard Martin- St. Augustine HS (CHL)
-Mike McWilliams- Raptor Rugby (TN)
-Isaac Morrill- St. Augustine/San Diego Mustangs (CA)
-Liam Parker- Tri-City Thunder (CA)
-Alex Pirkl- Staples HS (CT)
-Fletcher Popp- Jesuit HS (CA)
-Caden Raudelunas- Jesuit HS (CA)
-Charley Redknapp- Epsom College (UK)
-Dominic Soares- Granite Bay (CA)
-Alex Walter- Tri-City Thunder (CA)
-Jakub Wasila- British School of Warsaw (POL)
-Charles Williams- Monarch HS (CO)