The Arizona Wildcats have landed their quarterback of the future. They'll just have to wait a year to get him.
Daxx Garman, a highly regarded junior from Choctaw, Okla., verbally committed to the UA on Thursday. Garman becomes the first member of the Wildcats' 2011 recruiting class; the UA unveiled its 2010 class Wednesday.
"I'm early," he said.
Garman, 6 feet 2 inches and 175 pounds, chose the UA over an offer from North Carolina, though Iowa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Texas Tech, Tulsa and UCLA were also reportedly interested.
The quarterback said Arizona fulfills all of his requirements: Warm weather, high quality of life and - most importantly - the same spread offense that he's running in high school.
"At the beginning of this football season, once I started getting some looks and offers, I asked myself: 'Where am I going to fit in the best? What school runs my style of offense? What environment do I want to be around? Where do I want to live?'" he said. "Arizona didn't have any minuses on my checklist. Between the coaches they have there, how welcoming everybody is, and the players, it was the perfect fit."
Garman, 16, could end up being the franchise quarterback Arizona's been looking for. The Wildcats lost Matt Brown, one of their top offensive recruits in the 2010 class, 10 days ago.
The UA replaced him with Cameron Allerheiligen, a little-known passer from Keller, Texas.
"I think of it as a better opportunity for me," Garman said. "Once I get there and get the system under my belt, I'll be set."
Garman has the résumé to contribute right away. He completed 156 of 210 passes for 2,311 yards and 24 touchdowns in just eight games as a junior at Jones High School. He was intercepted six times.
Garman's season ended in November when the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association ruled him ineligible because of a clerical error involving his transfer to the school. Garman spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Carl Albert High School, an out-of-district school. When he transferred to Jones, which was in his home district, the school's principal failed to file the required hardship waiver.
The OSSAA's decision ended Jones High School's season, and, Garman said, caused "a lot of chaos" in his life. He left Jones for a third school, Choctaw, after the football season.
Garman will stay there until this summer, when he is expected to transfer to powerhouse Southlake Carroll High School outside of Dallas.
"We're going to move down to the Dallas metro area, and Carroll is the school we really like," he said. "It's the top-grossing high school program in the country. All that's going to do is prepare me for the college environment."
Garman, who carries a 4.2 GPA, said he will try to graduate a semester early, then enroll at the UA in January.
He is already familiar with Arizona. He took an unofficial visit for the Wildcats' game against Oregon last fall and came away impressed with the game-day atmosphere and the Zona Zoo.
Garman will return to Tucson next month to watch spring drills and figures to take an official visit sometime this fall.
He has plenty of time. The Class of 2011 can't sign national letters of intent for another year.