Anthony Lopez said he planned to go to Arizona anyway but he was excited earlier this week when he heard Rich Rodriguez was hired as the new Wildcats' coach.
It came as a surprise to the three-star running back from Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite because Saturday night he heard rumors that former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti was going to get hired. Shortly after, Gilbert heard the news about Rodriguez.
"I was going to go there regardless," Lopez said.
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"On Saturday night there were rumors on the Internet about Bellotti but then I heard Rich Rodriguez got the job."
Lopez, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back, said it's totally up to Rodriguez which assistant coaches are retained, if any, but he's hoping a few stay on staff especially because he's developed a strong relationship with some of them including interim coach Tim Kish.
Either way, Lopez said, he's relieved that Arizona has found its new coach and that the program can move on.
"I'm excited about him," Lopez said. "He's had a lot of success at West Virginia and I'm pretty happy he's the coach. The last two or three years of high school we ran the single-back and the double-back so I'm comfortable with (the spread offense).
"It's really up to him which assistants he keeps but having those guys would be great because I have great chemistry with them."
Lopez, rated No. 37 at running back in the 2012 class and No. 13 in the Arizona state rankings by Rivals.com, rushed for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.
Air Force, Army, Colorado, Idaho and Montana had also offered Lopez but he committed to the Wildcats in early September and has not looked back.