The Arizona Wildcats need help on the defensive line right now, and they used some local knowledge to land a graduate transfer tackle.
Aaron Blackwell, who played for new Arizona defensive line coach Stan Eggen at New Mexico, announced Saturday on Twitter he will be a Wildcat. The decision comes after the Blackwell -- who played at Liberty High School in Peoria and Mesa Community College -- was granted a medical redshirt after playing in only one game last season.
"Been an insane ride, and I am beyond excited to finish things of back in my home state, Thank God for everything and always trust in his plan!" he wrote on Twitter.
Blackwell, 6-foot-3, 298 pounds, was honorable mention All-Mountain West in 2018 and a Lobos team captain last season, when he suffered an injury to his right knee in the season-opener. He made 10 tackles, with 3.5 for loss, in 2018, when he played in 11 games and started the last four at nose tackle.
Blackwell posted 29 tackles, including four for loss and two sacks, as a sophomore in 2017, when he started all 12 games.
Arizona could use as many big bodies as possible for its interior defensive line as it is likely to switch to a three-man front as its base under new coordinator Paul Rhoads. Senior-to-be Trevon Mason (310 pounds) returns inside, as did senior Myles Tapusoa, among others, but Blackwell clearly sees opportunity in 2020 -- and he's not wrong.