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Arizona football SitRep: On California recruiting, answering reader questions, and more

Taking a look at the talent-rich Golden State

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The SitRep is back!

And with it, the Arizona Wildcats are only two weeks away from their regular season opener. That means plenty of current football team news while the staff prepares for the season.

In between the chaos of player and coach interviews, and observations from camp, not much recruiting news gets out.

This is where the SitRep comes in.

This week we will focus on California recruiting, answer some reader questions and more.

2019 Targets in California

Continuing on with our series of looking at specific recruiting areas, we find ourselves in the hotbed of college recruiting in California.

The ‘Cats have always done well in the Golden State and have continued to make a strong push this cycle with Demetrice Martin, Marcel Yates, and John Rushing leading the way. Below are the players whose recruitments I’m most familiar with and confident in Arizona’s standing with.

So far, UA has four commitments from California — 3-star WR Jalen Johnson, 3-star OLB Kwabena Watson, 3-star CB Maurice Gaines Jr., and 3-star ATH Chris Roland

Jaxen Turner

3-star DB from Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, CA

AZDS Take: Without a doubt, Turner is Arizona’s priority in California and on defense. They have been extremely aggressive in recruiting him and continue to do really well with the freak athlete from the Inland Empire.

However, there will be plenty of competition for his services. Other schools pushing for his commitment include Cal, Utah, and Oregon State. At this moment, I’d say it’s between Cal and UA. He recently has stated that he would also like to play basketball at the next level, and he is actually a solid player on the court. I, personally, like him better on the gridiron.

Arizona’s Competition: Cal, Oregon State, and Utah

Prediction: Too early to tell

William Nimmo Jr.

3-star DB from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA

AZDS Take: Nimmo is another really talented safety prospect from SoCal powerhouse Mater Dei. He isn’t as freakishly athletic as Turner but is still a dynamic playmaker and loves to hit people.

He has a great relationship with Arizona’s staff and they are sitting well with him. However, other schools such as Washington State, UCLA, Cal, and Oregon State. He has yet to visit Tucson but has visited Cal and Pullman. UA isn’t pushing for him as hard as the schools but they are still in the mix.

Arizona’s Competition: Cal, Washington State, UCLA, Florida, Oregon State

Prediction: Washington State

Drake Jackson

4-star DE from Centennial High School in Corona, CA

AZDS Take: Jackson is someone Arizona is quietly doing well with. He has been linked to USC and Oregon often during his recruitment but at the same time has been taking things slow.

He did visit Tucson during their Spring Game and came away impressed with the visit. However, at this time I think it could end up being a difficult pull for the ‘Cats. The likes of Washington, Oregon, or USC could end up being too much to overcome in the end.

Arizona’s Competition: USC, Oregon, Washington

Prediction: Too early to tell

Stephon Wright

4-star DE from Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, CA

AZDS Take: Wright is another SoCal defensive lineman that Arizona has stayed in the picture with for awhile now. His recruitment has kind of been all over the place and has been difficult to pin down.

Like Jackson, he too visited the ‘Cats during their Spring Game and came away impressed. That, plus his relationship with Arizona’s staff, has kept them in the mix for the talented d-end. Much like Jackson, he will be a difficult pull as well. Schools like Alabama, Washington, USC, Oregon, Colorado, and Nebraska have been pushing for his services. Unsurprisingly, he has taken his recruitment slowly as he weighs his options.

Arizona’s Competition: USC, Washington, Alabama, Oregon, Nebraska, Colorado

Prediction: Too early to tell

De’jon Benton

3-star DT from Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, CA

AZDS Take: This is another recruitment that Arizona is doing quietly well in. The ‘Cats join Washington State, Fresno State, and San Jose State as the four schools that Benton will be focusing on as his season gets under way.

In my opinion, Benton is very underrated. He plays next to 4-star defensive tackle Jacob Bandes, who will be announcing his college decision this Friday, and kind of gets lost in the shuffle. But Benton is someone who really moves well for someone his size and has great footwork. I’m not sure I am confident that Arizona lands him, but I do know they are setting themselves up well here.

Arizona’s Competition: Washington State, Fresno State, San Jose State

Prediction: Too early to tell

Cam Stephens

3-star DB from Cajon High School in San Bernardino, CA

AZDS Take: Stephens saw his recruiting to take off a little during the spring/summer as schools such as Florida, Arizona, and Nebraska all extended an offer to him. I’m not sure if UA will take another corner this class, but it is possible considering the departure of Tony Wallace and Jhevon Hill never making it to campus. With that being said Arizona is in prime position for the IE standout.

Arizona’s Competition: Nebraska, Colorado State, Nevada, San Jose State

Prediction: Too early to tell

Reader Questions

From @BearDownBrian: Do Robert Congel, Santino Marchiol, or Keyshawn Johnson Jr. play this year?

I don’t think Keyshawn Johnson Jr. does. Even if he makes it on to the roster, he’s missed too much time this offseason already. I originally thought Congel would since he was a walk-on last season at A&M but you never know with the NCAA. Marchiol has a pretty good chance to play in my opinion. He redshirted last year after suffering an injury before the season. In fact Cal transfer Demetris Robertson was just granted eligibility to play for Georgia this year after he suffered an injury last season and redshirted.

From @weslo1875: Anybody getting close to committing? How many more scholarships do you see this staff potentially trying to free up for this 2019 class?

That’s a tough one. Jaxen Turner will be announcing during his senior season so that’s one to watch. Jalen Curry is another to watch for in the future. But as with all things recruiting there is unpredictability so it’s tough to say if there aren’t some guys who will randomly announce. But those two for sure are ones to keep an eye on.

As for scholarships, I see the staff only opening about one or two more.

From @jamescasillas76: Who out of the grad transfers will have the biggest impact on both sides of the ball?

There were only two grad transfers in Tim Hough and Dylan Klumph. Klumph will immediately improve the punting game and Hough will not only help the cornerback depth, but I see him playing a huge role on defense this year.

Now out of the other transfers, it’s hard to say. It’ll depend if they get eligibility. If they do, both Congel and Marchiol will have big roles.

2019 Watchlist

This is a new section in the SitRep where we keep a running list of players that we believe will commit to Arizona soon or players they are doing well with. It will be updated every week.

Jalen Curry: 4-star WR; 0.9314 composite ranking; Austin, TX

Stephon Wright: 4-star SDE; 0.9096 composite ranking; Los Angeles, CA

Drake Jackson: 4-star WDE; 0.9052 composite ranking; Corona, CA

Noa Pola-Gates: 4-star S; 0.9020 composite ranking; Gilbert, AZ

Sylvain Yondjouen: 3-star WDE; 0.8900 composite ranking; Belgium

Tre’Mon Morris-Brash: 3-star WDE; 0.8843 composite ranking; Washington, D.C.

Logan Sagapolu: 3-star C; 0.8830 composite ranking; Lehi, UT

Jaylen Ellis: 3-star WR; 0.8742 composite ranking; Round Rock, TX

Langston Anderson: 3-star WR; 0.8689 composite ranking; Midlothian, TX

Khyheem Waleed: 3-star WR; 0.8689 composite ranking; Queen Creek, AZ

Bailey Elder: 3-star OT; 0.8600 composite ranking; Tacoma, WA

Bertrand Carrell: 3-star S; 0.8588 composite ranking; Baton Rouge, LA

William Nimmo: 3-star S; 0.8588 composite ranking; Santa Ana, CA

Jaxen Turner: 3-star S; 0.8565 composite ranking; Moreno Valley, CA

Dez Melton: 3-star ATH; 0.8527 composite ranking; Glendale, AZ

J.L. Skinner: 3-star ATH; 0.8516 composite ranking; San Diego, CA

Logan Wilson: 3-star CB; 08438 composite ranking; Dallas, TX

Brayden Rohme: 3-star OT; 0.8427 composite ranking; Gilbert, AZ

Rodquice Chaney: 3-star OT; 0.8366 composite ranking; Houston, TX

Nassir Sims: 3-star DT; 0.8265 composite ranking; Goodyear, AZ

Cameron Stephens: 3-star CB; 0.8265 composite ranking; San Bernardino, CA

Jalen Williams: 3-star OLB; 0.8265 composite ranking; Phoenix, AZ

Jaden Tauanu’u: 3-star OLB; 0.8199 composite ranking; Pittsburg, CA

De’jon Benton: 3-star DT; 0.8099 composite ranking; Pittsburg, CA

Devyn Butler: 2-star CB; 0.7898 composite ranking; Allen, TX