Arizona adds Baratz to mix

Arizona adds Baratz to mix

Arizona now has five 2009 commitments, thanks to 6-7, 257 lb. Naperville (Illinois) North offensive guard Jake Baratz committing to the Wildcats on Wednesday.

Arizona now has five 2009 commitments, thanks to 6-7, 257 lb. Naperville (Illinois) North offensive guard Jake Baratz committing to the Wildcats on Wednesday.

Baratz chose Arizona over Miami (Ohio) and Northern Illinois, who had both offered him.

He recently told Scout.com that he likes both Arizona and Indiana.

"For both, I love the campuses," Baratz said. "You can't beat them. Some schools, the town, the locals aren't as into it as they are at these two places.

"The people of Bloomington seem to love the college, and I want to go to a big school with a nice town where there are things to do. With the academics, business, both schools are phenomenal."

Baratz is the second player from Illinois that the Wildcats have landed in 2009, as he joins tight end Jack Baucus. He'll also be the second player from Naperville North on the U of A squad, as running back Nick Booth also went to school there.

Previously, Baratz told Scout.com about what makes him stand out as a prospect.

"When it comes to bag drills, shuttles, ladders and all that stuff, I can do that really well," Baratz said. "My agility and athleticism are two of my biggest strengths."

With Baratz now in the fold, the Wildcats are expected to sign about four more offensive linemen. The team had a big year at the position last season but needs to keep it up after only signing a single lineman in 2007.

A two-star prospect, Baratz is not very highly rated but sources we've talked to say that the UA is getting a true sleeper. Like Baucus, he was recruited to Arizona by offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, who recruits the state of Illinois for Arizona, and has done an admirable job so far.

We will keep an eye on him as he goes through his senior year at Naperville North.

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