Earlier this summer the Wildcat coaching staff was able to get a firm walk on commitment from Houston (Texas) Westfield High School standout punter Keenyn Crier. Crier had been to Tucson and had met some of his future teammates and was really looking forward to getting to Tucson.
But then something happened. Crier was offered a full scholarship by Texas Southern University and it forced him re-evaluate things.
"When I told Arizona that I wanted to walk on I had offers from a couple of junior colleges and a couple of really small schools," Crier admitted. "But then TSU came in and offered me a scholarship and I had to think things through again."
While the appeal to play in his home state of Texas was huge, ultimately the draw of playing for an up and coming Pac-10 team proved to be what he wanted to do. It also didn't hurt that the Wildcats decided to make an offer of their own.
"I was really leaning to going to TSU but I was still going back and forth," Keenyn said. "But then Arizona called me and said that if I walked and did well then I could earn a scholarship in January. After they did that then the decision was really pretty easy for me. TSU is a good school but I really am looking forward to going to Arizona."
What Keenyn brings to Tucson with him is a pretty impressive resume as a punter. As a junior at Westfield he averaged over 46 yards per punt and as a senior he averaged over 42 yards per boot. Down the line it is also possible that he can assume some of the regular kicking duties after senior Nick Folk graduates after the 2006 season. Also, like the graduated Baugher, Crier is an all around solid athlete that is not afraid to take a hit or dish one out.
"I like to play football," he said. "Part of football is getting hit and I am a kicker so obviously I am going to have to make a tackle once in a while and I like doing it."
Being from the greater Houston area, Crier was recruited by Arizona Offensive Line Coach and lead Houston recruiter Eric Wolford. Crier says the two get along really well.
"Coach Wolford is a really straight up guy," he said. "He has always told me the truth and has always been real honest with me about everything."
It can be said that Crier was also recruited by Arizona Special Teams Coordinator Joe Robinson and according to Keenyn, he is really looking forward to playing for JoeRob.
"Coach Robinson is a nice guy and he really cares," Crier admitted. "He is a very good coach. He really pays attention to detail and that is impressive because a lot of coaches don't really stress the little things and he really seems to do that. I am looking forward to getting there and working on getting better with him."
Crier will depart Houston this weekend and will report to Fall Camp with the rest of the newcomers on Monday.
"I am leaving this weekend and I am going to be there on Monday," he said. "I think I can play this year right away. I know I have to go in and earn the spot and I think that I can do that."
Keenyn comes to Arizona with a pretty impressive academic portfolio as well. He finished high school with a 3.3 grade point average and he scored a very respectable 24 on the ACT qualification test. He said he wants to major in Economics.