"I like the atmosphere, the weather, and the people at Arizona," said Jarrell Bennett. "It's a football town and the fans show their support. They care about you with football and as a person.
"My hosts were Jonathan McKnight and Cortez Johnson (both metro New Orleans products). They talked about how Arizona is a fun place. They said the coaches work us hard, but it's to make us better. They told me, 'Be ready to come work hard.'"
Is Bennett solid to the Wildcats?
"I'm ready to come in, contribute and turn things around," he said. "I didn't realize Arizona was that beautiful a place until the visit. I'm sold on Arizona.
"Coach (Rich) Rodriguez is an up front guy. I'm coming in at the front with everything new (beginning of Rodriguez's stint). Nothing is guaranteed at any position - everything is open. Coach said it doesn't matter how big or small you are; he's putting the best 11 on the field at all times."
Bennett was obviously taken by the climate in Tuscon.
"The mountains, the palm trees," he pondered. "It's beautiful."
Bennett and the Karr Cougars reached the Class 4A state finals for the second straight year in 2011. In the quarterfinals, Karr mounted an improbable comeback victory on the road with Bennett scoring the game-winning touchdown in the last minute of play vs. St. Thomas More. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound senior had two huge plays on the memorable scoring drive.
With less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Karr -- which trailed St. Thomas More, 31-28 -- took possession of the football on its own 6-yard line. On first down, QB Devante Noil dropped back and found Bennett streaking down the left sideline for a 76-yard gain. Shortly thereafter, Noil fired a completion to Bennett on a 12-yard slant in the end zone as the Cougars advanced by a 35-31 margin.
Bennett has excellent balance and hands and is fearless going across the middle. He was the team leader of a talent-laden squad that included more than a dozen future FBS players.