The Arizona Wildcats' coaching carousel has cost the UA its top offensive recruit.
Matt Brown, a highly touted quarterback from Allen, Texas, decommitted from Arizona on Monday and will sign a national letter of intent with TCU.
The Rivals.com recruiting service lists Brown as a three-star recruit and the 11th-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Brown threw for 2,412 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,166 and 12 touchdowns this year as a senior at Allen High School. He was considered one of the cornerstone players in the UA's 2010 recruiting class.
Brown reopened his recruitment Wednesday, when UA offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes was named head coach at Louisiana Tech.
The quarterback called his change of heart "kind of a crazy thing."
"I felt like I kind of put all my eggs in the same basket with Coach Dykes … when Coach Dykes left, I scouted things because I didn't know what to do," Brown said. "My (high school) coaches called around to see if any teams were looking for quarterbacks, just to make sure."
TCU was interested. Brown took an official visit to the Fort Worth, Texas, campus over the weekend. The quarterback said he was "very familiar" with TCU before making the trip; he attended an elite camp there last year and watched the Horned Frogs' spring game.
"I didn't make some quick decision," he said. "It was either going to be TCU or Arizona."
Brown was solidly committed to the UA as recently as a week ago, when UA coach Mike Stoops and Dykes visited his family for an in-home visit. Dykes left for Louisiana Tech the next day, offering little explanation to the recruits he was pursuing for Arizona.
Brown said he initially tried to talk to Stoops about the direction of the UA's offense but was unsuccessful.
"I was like, shoot, were they hiding something?" he said. "I wasn't going to sit there and wait, and then be stuck somewhere where they were going to run the triple-option. I just didn't know where they were going to go."
Stoops eventually told Brown that Arizona would stay with the spread attack that has become its trademark. Dykes even called the quarterback from Louisiana to encourage him to stay with the Wildcats.
By then, however, Brown had changed his mind.
The quarterback's audible was even more stunning given his history with Tucson. Brown was born at St. Joseph's Hospital to parents who are both UA graduates. Though the Browns soon moved to Allen, a northern suburb of Dallas, Matt remained a UA fan and frequent visitor to both Phoenix and Tucson.
Brown verbally committed to Arizona following an April visit, saying he "had chills" at the prospect of playing for the Wildcats.
He never guessed that it would lead to a chilly exit.
"I hate the way it worked out," Brown said, "but it was better for my situation."
On StarNet: Follow the Cats on Ryan Finley's blog at go.azstarnet.com/finley