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T.J. Leaf commits to Arizona

Arizona is pushing for the No. 1 recruiting class in 2015, but the Wildcats are already off to a great start on 2016 too.

Five-star junior T.J. Leaf committed to Arizona on Wednesday.

"It was a lot of reasons," Leaf told ESPN.com. "For one, I have a great relationship with all the coaches there, including coach [Sean] Miller. That's a big plus. Their style of play, how they use their 4s, interchangeable with their 3s, that's what I want. And I have the opportunity to come in and make an impact as a freshman."

Leaf's list of finalists included Florida, UCLA, Duke and Michigan, although the Gators and Bruins were the other primary options.

The 6-foot-9 power forward out of Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.) visited the Tucson campus twice, with the second trip coming last month for Arizona's Red-Blue Game. That visit pushed Arizona squarely into the lead for Leaf's commitment.

"They recruited me harder than anyone else in the country," Leaf said. "That showed me they wanted me really bad. The whole visit in general was everything you could ask for. The atmosphere is out of control. You know you're going to have a full house every night."

Ranked No. 15 by ESPN.com in the 2016 class, Leaf is an inside-outside frontcourt player. He has good perimeter skills, capable of knocking down jumpers from the arc. Leaf is also effective around the rim and can pass and handle as well.

Arizona has done well with versatile power forwards under Miller, including 2014 lottery pick Aaron Gordon and current junior Brandon Ashley.

"They have guys who can take the ball up the court, rebound and go all the way with it. That's really appealing to me," Leaf said. "Aaron wasn't the best shooter in the world, but he was able to do so much. Brandon was able to step out and shoot 3s. He's running the baseline, trailing, setting picks. He plays on the wing a lot too."

Arizona's 2015 recruiting class is ranked No. 2 in the country by ESPN.com, with Allonzo Trier (No. 17), Ray Smith (No. 24), Justin Simon (No. 27) and Chance Comanche (No. 97) all in the fold. Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson (14.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG), who is sitting out this season, will also be eligible next season.

Miller isn't done with the senior class yet, but Leaf gives the Wildcats early momentum with the juniors.

"They've been really good as of late. That shows they're going to get better and better and better and compete for national championships even more," Leaf said. "The recruiting class has big-time players, but what entices me is they have no 4-man. They're only going to get better and better, and that's exciting."

Leaf is the second-highest-ranked player to commit from the Class of 2016, joining UCLA pledge Lonzo Ball (No. 11).