Scott Pagano has been collecting offers and is establishing himself as arguably the top player in Hawaii's 2013 recruiting class but until now the Honolulu (Hawaii) Moanalua defensive tackle has not talked about any frontrunners.
That changed Thursday when the 6-foot-3, 280-pound prospect said Arizona is one of his five favorites especially after talking with first-year coach Rich Rodriguez and defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich.
"The way they presented themselves, I got to talk to the head coach and the defensive line coach," Pagano said. "They really impressed me and had me hooked. A lot of things are going to change there.
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"They said that and it got me really interested. They always have been a school that I've been looking at since my sophomore year."
Arizona is one of the favorites for Pagano, who has outstanding junior film, but it could be a long recruiting process that sees many changes.
So far, Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Cal, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Pitt, San Diego State, UCLA, Utah, Utah State, Washington, Washington State and Wyoming have offered. The Huskers came through with their offer on Thursday afternoon.
In his junior season, Pagano finished with 67 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Moanalua coach Arnold Martinez said Florida is a school Pagano would like to hear from but the Gators have not reached out yet.
"He's at his best when he gets that great leverage, uses that strike force and stays low," Martinez said.
"He's not just a big guy. When he was a freshman he was just bigger than every other kid. Now he's better because he can't just be bigger so he's using his technique with his size and he's had a really good growth spurt physically and mentally understanding the game during his junior season. That put him over the top."