DUNCAN — When Duncan's Domonique Petties was ruled ineligible midway through the season by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, he wasn't sure if his dream of playing NCAA Division I football was over.
It's not. After back-to-back weekends of making visits, Petties verbally committed to Arizona on Monday, said Duncan coach Jim Holloway.
Petties, 6-foot-1 and 212 pounds and being recruited as an athlete, was having a solid senior season for the Demons before it was discovered that Petties was in his fifth year of high school. The problem was discovered in his transcripts after transferring from Del City.
Petties missed a year of school between his sophomore and junior year because of extenuating circumstances, and it made him a fifth-year student. The NCAA requires that prospective student-athletes finish high school in four years unless there were extenuating circumstances. Petties was ruled to have extenuating circumstances.
“His focus has been on taking care of his academics,” Holloway said. “He's been unbelievable during this entire time. Some kids once they would have found out they couldn't play, wouldn't have been able to deal with it.
“He's done the total opposite. He's had a tremendous attitude and has spent his time working hard in the weight room and getting his grades in order.”
Petties, a three-star prospect according to Rivals.com, is ranked No. 6 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 and was the highest-ranked prospect to not have committed.
Petties visited Arizona two weeks ago and also made a trip to Pittsburgh this last weekend.
Petties had more than 20 offers, said Holloway, which included Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, among others. However, Arizona is taking a chance. The Wildcats have to file a waiver to get Petties into school. However, the waiver cannot be filed until after the end of the school year and must have a transcript to show Petties has qualified.
If Petties doesn't academically qualify, he has a backup plan. Holloway said Petties will also sign with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami on Wednesday, too.
Petties will be one of three Duncan football players signing as lineman Dylan Dismuke is going to sign with Oklahoma and lineman Dylan Laurens will sign with Southwestern Oklahoma State.
Holloway said the signings are still scheduled to happen Wednesday but may be postponed because of weather. The paperwork will be faxed Wednesday no matter what.
“This is a great group of kids,” Holloway said. “They've meant a lot to the program, and it will be tough to replace them.”