Steilacoom High School’s D.J. Fryar knew exactly what holiday was on Saturday.
It was his parents’ 11th anniversary.
And then he delivered a Fourth of July’ football recruiting blast in front of his family, giving the University of Arizona a verbal commitment for the class of 2021.
Fryar (6-foot-3, 225 pounds), the Sentinels’ leader in the middle of the defense, will go to the Wildcats’ program as an inside linebacker.
“We’re all on the same page there,” Fryar said.
On a talent-laden Steilacoom team that reached the Class 2A title game a season ago, Fryar flies under the radar next to higher-profile teammates Emeka Egbuka (uncommitted five-star wide receiver) and Chance McDonald (Western Kentucky quarterback commit).
And Fryar doesn’t mind that at all. In fact, since the consensus three-star recruit was having a bunch of out-of-town family fly in from Chicago on vacation, he decided to move up his commitment announcement so they could be in attendance.
“Your family comes before anything,” Fryar said. “Being around them and making the decision was the best thing for me to do.”
Fryar said he stuck a strong connection with new Arizona defensive coordianator Paul Rhoads, who was hired in December after spending the past two seasons as UCLA’s defensive backs’ coach.
“He is hilarious,” Fryar said. “You can call him and just have a conversation, and he will joke a lot.”
Fryar, who had scholarship offers from Air Force, Army, Boise State, Nevada, Washington State and Wyoming, becomes the Wildcats’ second 2021 recruit from Washington, joining Mount Si High School quarterback Clay Millen.
If both end up signing in December, the last time two state of Washington products were part of an Arizona recruiting haul was 2001 (Skyline’s Bret Stray and Richland’s Landon Kafentzis).
“D.J. has freakish athleticism, and has a ton of upside,” Steilacoom coach Colby Davies said. “He works extremely hard … so you know he’s going to reach his full potential.”