- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
Mario Alford (Greenville, Ga./Georgia Military Academy) wasn't in a hurry to make a commitment, but when it comes to football, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound athlete does just about everything at top speed.
Alford said he was just trying to get first-hand look at the Arizona campus during his official visit this past weekend. It was his first time heading that far West and Alford was impressed with what he saw. He had an opportunity to meet with head coach Rich Rodriguez, and everything clicked.
"I felt like it was the perfect fit," Alford said. "Since they first offered me, they've been sticking with me since Day 1."
He was in attendance for Arizona's huge offensive showing against USC, when the Wildcats threw for 369 yards. While Arizona received big performances from its wide receivers, Alford noticed a hole that he can't wait to fill. He said the way Rodriguez plans to use him in the offense, as a slot receiver, played a big role in his decision.
"There's a reason they don't throw bubble screens now, because he doesn't have that guy who can make a move and take it to the house," Alford said. "That's my type of offense. I like to get the ball in space by throwing some screens. I feel like I can bring explosive speed to the offense, where everything has the possibility of going for a touchdown."
Alford has three years to play two seasons, and said he will leave for Arizona next March. This will be the biggest move of his life, but he doesn't anticipate the distance being much of a problem.
"That was my biggest thing with Arizona -- the distance," Alford said. "But I talked to my mom and my family and she said, 'You have to make the best of it.' I'm going to be there for two years, and I have the rest of my life to be with my family. I just have to make the best of it."