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November 24, 2011
When offensive-minded Rich Rodriguez was announced as Arizona's 30th head coach by Greg Bryne via Twitter Monday night, everyone knew what that meant for one side of the ball. But prospects on the defensive side of the ball may have been left with more questions than answers with the hiring of the former Michigan coach.
The new Wildcats head coach is known as a great offensive mind, but the defense at his last stop struggled - to say the least.
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said it's going to be a more difficult task to sell UA to recruits on defense than it is on offense going forward, unless Rodriguez brings in a talented staff on that side of the ball.
"Defensive guys will be a little more hesitant," Farrell said. "Because Rich Rodriguez' reputation in Michigan was all offense, no defense. So who he hires on that side of the ball is really going to dictate how they sell recruits on defense."
One defensive player who is still trying to process the hire is defensive tackle prospect Gerron Borne of Reserve (La.) East St. John. The three-star recruit admittedly didn't know too much about Rodriguez prior to learning of his hiring at UA.
Borne said that he still considers himself a Wildcat commit, but he is going to keep his options open until he learns more about what direction the 'Cats are headed on defense.
"I really don't know too much about him, just that he got fired from Michigan and he used to be at West Virginia," Borne said. "That's about everything I know about him. But regarding my recruiting status, I'm really open to other schools now that my senior season is over.
"As of right now I'm just opening it up and seeing what other schools have to offer. I'm going to take some visits and go from there."
One school that Borne knows he will take a trip to is UA.
"Regardless of if I'm still committed or if that changes, I'm still going to take my visit to Arizona," Borne said. "I want to sit down with him (Rodriguez) and the coaching staff to see what's in store for the Arizona Wildcats."
Borne said that he would like to see the staff stay in tact, but he is fearful of what would happen should the coaches he's built relationships with are not retained.
"The one that I've built a good relationship with is coach (Garret) Chachere, because that's the one who recruited me," he said. "Him and the defensive line coach (Joe Salave'a) are the only two coaches I really know, so without those two it would be like I would be in Arizona lost without the two coaches I knew."
Right now Borne is in the process of setting up visits with other programs, a process which was already started prior to Rodriguez being hired.
Borne said the only visit he has a definite date for is to Illinois on Dec. 9. However, he is in the process of planning trips to North Carolina, Colorado, Pittsburgh and Arizona.
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor
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