Arizona’s latest commitment today from 6-foot-4 and 245-pound defensive end Ja’Quez Harvey of Los Angeles Locke High School has a Wildcat influence that not only impacts Kevin Sumlin’s Class of 2021 effort.
His coach at Locke is former Arizona safety Mike Klyce, who started for Mike Stoops from 2005 to 2007.
“Ja’Quez Harvey is a game changer. Unbelievably athletic, Explosive, coachable, and just a great football player that’s going to play on Sundays,” Klyce mentioned to AllSportsTucson.com.
He then added with derision: “He’s a 5-star kid but he happens to be at Locke, so he’s a 3-star (according to 247Sports and Rivals).”
Klyce was hired by his alma mater at Locke to lead the struggling program in 2017
Locke’s future with a football program was in doubt before the school was given an approval from the Los Angeles Board of Managers in January 2017 to remain in operation. Locke had its program suspended after failing to finish its season in 2015 and 2016 because of numbers.
The school addressed issues involving player ineligibility and hired Klyce to rectify the program. Locke only fielded a varsity team in his first season, The team, playing in one of California’s lower classifications, had less than 30 players. Like a script out of nearby Hollywood, Klyce coached the Saints to a 10-4 record, including 4-0 in the Metro city section.
The Los Angeles Times in 2018 selected him the Coach of the Year of the Los Angeles-area high school all-star team. Klyce had previous coaching experience as an assistant at Tucson High School.
“Ja’Quez has a great personality,” Klyce added. “It’s always extra exciting to have a kid that you personally developed and see grow attend a great university and that university just happens to be my alma mater.”
He then added a #BearDown to his message.
The commitment gives Sumlin 19 commits for the 2021 recruiting cycle.
With the addition of Harvey, Arizona now has 13 commitments on defense in an obvious attempt to address the biggest weakness of the team the last few years — the defense. It comes on the heels of Sunday’s commitment by New Orleans De La Salle high-profile defensive end Ja’Marian Peterson, the fourth recruit out of the Crescent City who has pledged to Sumlin in this class.
Harvey chose Arizona over Oregon, ASU, Washington State and Kansas among others.
Arizona Football Class of 2021 Signees
|OLB||Jackson Bailey||6-1/220||Red Oak (TX)|
|RB||James Bohls||6-0/195||San Clemente (CA)|
|DT||Evan Branch-Haynes||6-2/270||S.F. Sacred Heart|
|OLB||Kolbe Cage||6-0/205||New Orleans Holy Cross|
|CB||Javione Carr||5-11/160||Arlington (TX) Sam Houston|
|OT||Luke Eckardt||6-7/265||Richmond (IL) Richmond-Burton|
|ILB||DJ Fryar||6-3/205||Steilacoom (WA)|
|DE||Kevon Garcia||6-2/215||Houston (TX) Dekaney|
|OC||JT Hand||6-3/285||Mission VIejo (CA)|
|S||Dalton Johnson||5-10/180||Katy (TX)|
|ATH||Logan Kraut||6-2/190||Santa Rosa (CA) Carrillo|
|CB||Jakelyn Morgan||6-1/175||Tyler (TX) Legacy|
|DE||Alex Navarro-Silva||6-5/220||Riverside (CA) CC|
|TE/QB||Colby Powers||6-4/235||Klein Collins (TX)|
|RB||Stevie Rocker Jr.||6-0/185||CDO|
|ILB||Matthew Weerts||6-2/217||Batavia (IL)|
|S||Isaiah Taylor||5-11/195||Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas|
|ATH||Anthony Simpson||5-10/180||Pawling (NY) Bloomfield|
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.