Thursday, July 12, 2018 | 2 a.m.
The Arizona Wildcats have lost one of their top incoming freshmen a month before practices are set to begin.
Adam Plant Jr., a three-star defensive lineman from Las Vegas who prepped at Bishop Gorman High, will attend Arizona Western College instead of UA, his father told the Star on Tuesday. Plant is already enrolled at the junior college for the fall semester.
Plant was the third-highest ranked recruit in Arizona's 2018 class, trailing only three-star quarterbacks Jamarye Joiner and Kevin Doyle.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 245-pound Plant was listed as the No. 54 defensive end in the country, per 247Sports' national composite rankings. He initially chose Arizona over offers from USC, Penn State and Oregon.
The UA does not comment about players who do not enroll.
Plant's father said his son's split with the UA began when the SAT board delivered an incorrect score to the school, rendering Adam Plant Jr. ineligible. After going "back and forth" with the board, Plant made the decision to play at Arizona Western.
"In the meantime me and my wife felt that with Adam being Arizona's biggest recruit this year, we felt they should have done a little more to get issue resolved. But we are not mad at anyone there," Plant's father said. "Adam is already at Arizona Western College and will play there this fall and will be looking to be a one-and-done, then transfer probably to a (SEC university)."
Arizona Western has produced NFL players to the likes of Seahawks safety Maurice Alexander, Dolphins running back Damien Williams, 49ers linebacker Korey Toomer, Cowboys edge rusher Randy Gregory and Browns center Erik Wren.
This isn't the first time Plant has backed out of a commitment to Arizona. The Bishop Gorman High School star decommitted last summer, two months after he originally committed. After five months of weighing schools, Plant re-committed to the UA. He signed his national letter of intent in February.
"Terrible feeling, but I am glad the Arizona Western coaches wanted him with open arms and Adam is still stepping in the right direction of his goal," Plant's father said. "I can't say Arizona was a top option at first, but we were grateful for their offer, so there is no love lost."
Plant's decision could be an early recruiting blow to first-year coach Kevin Sumlin.
The former Texas A&M boss has received multiple verbal commitments this summer as he tries to reshape a program that stumbled to recruit nationally under former coach Rich Rodriguez.
Sumlin and his staff are emphasizing the state of Texas, an area that Rodriguez largely ignored until his final year at the helm. Plant attended the same high school as former Wildcats Keola Antolin and Anu Solomon.