Signing On The Dotted Line: Letter Of Intent Day Recap

Arizona Sports News online

In the blink of an eye, Signing Day came and went. With a flurry of signatures, faxes, and announcements, the class of 2015 stated their future plans on the football field.

Now the dust has settled (for the most part), here are some things that jumped out to me with regards to recruits in the Grand Canyon State:

Flipping Out:

Most of the 2015 class was already locked up when Letter of Intent Day arrived, but two players with a little wiggle room flipped from their original decisions. Corona del Sol defensive lineman Cassius Peat initially committed to UCLA, but reopened his recruitment back in December. When LOI Day came, Peat decided to trade the California sun for East Lansing winters as he committed to Michigan State along with Pinnacle quarterback Brian Lewerke.

One decision that will hit a little closer to home for ASU fans was Paul Lucas deciding to go to Oregon State instead of heading to Arizona State. The Mountain Pointe speedster gave his verbal commitment to the Devils on Christmas Day, but as Signing Day grew closer, there were rumbles the Beavers were making a hard push at him. New Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen was able to flip Lucas and gain a dynamic playmaker in his first season in Corvallis.

Keeping It On The Buffalo(w)-Down: 

Colorado came into Arizona and nabbed some under-the-radar prospects as they continue to build their program in the Pac-12 South. Brophy’s Isaiah Oliver, Chandler wide receiver Justin Jan, and Centennial lineman Brett Tonz all signed with the Buffaloes. Oliver was one of my favorite players to watch this year. This guy can flat-out do it all. He was Brophy’s top receiver and cornerback, a special teams wizard; he blocked five field goals last year and was a big return threat.

Chandler receiver Justin Jan was the top target for Bryce Perkins in Chandler’s state championship campaign. With limited opportunities up until his senior year, he burst onto the scene, hauling in 17 touchdowns.  At 6’3″, the Buffaloes are getting a long receiver who can win a jump ball.

Brett Tonz has the versatility to play on both sides of the ball as a lineman, and was one of the key guys up front for the Coyotes as they won the Division-II state championship in 2014.  

Shamrocks Moving On To Division-I:

Yuma Catholic had season fit for movie scripts in 2014. Head coach Rhett Stallworth had to have open-heart surgery early in the year, and while in the hospital, some of his Yuma Catholic seniors visited him and promised an undefeated season and state championship. They made good on that promise in late November. That makes for a pretty special season, right? Now throw in the fact the Shamrocks have two players signing with Division-I programs, the first time that has happened in recent memory. Tight end Matt Pistone will be playing for the Boise State Broncos, and wide receiver/defensive back Donovan Rooks signed with Montana. Pistone joins a tight end unit that already features one former Arizona prep star in Jake Roh, who had 408 receiving yards and two touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore with the Broncos.

The Firestorm’s Comin’: 

It seems like every game I went to this past football season, there was an Arizona Christian coach on the sideline looking to add pieces to the Firestorm. On Letter of Intent Day, Donnie Yantis and co. brought in 60 recruits, with 34 of them being high school seniors from the state of Arizona. The program is also receiving quite a bit of interest from the collegiate level, as they brought in 26 transfers. This class not only brings in quantity, but quality as well, which will be key in the Firestorm’s second year.