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Revisiting Arizona football’s 2015 recruiting class

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 Arizona State at Arizona Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

During the bye week, we’ll take a look back at each of the last four recruiting classes that still have players remaining on the current Arizona Wildcats roster. First, we’ll take a look at the 2015 recruiting class.

The 2015 recruiting class finished 43rd in the nation and 9th in the Pac-12, featuring eight top-100 players and one four-star prospect. While that seems to be a step above what we had usually seen during this time, it was a bit of a disappointment considering the team had been ranked for the majority of the 2014 season, played in the Pac-12 Championship Game and clinched a Fiesta Bowl berth.

Arizona’s 2015 Recruiting Class

2015 Recruiting Class

Name Position Height Weight Hometown 247 Sports Composite
Name Position Height Weight Hometown 247 Sports Composite
Keenan Walker OT 6-6 280 Scottsdale, AZ 4-star 142 overall
Cody Creason OG 6-4 285 Folsom, CA 3-star 454 overall
Anthony Fotu DT 6-4 285 Oakland, CA 3-star 38th overall (JUCO)
Shun Brown CB 5-9 173 Shreveport, LA 3-star 741 overall
Cedric Peterson WR 6-0 180 Moreno Valley, CA 3-star 744 overall
Paul Magloire S 6-2 215 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 3-star 77 overall (JUCO)
Anthony Mariscal ATH 6-0 185 Bakersfield, CA 3-star 840 overall
Darick Holmes Jr. RB 5-7 175 Newbury Park, CA 3-star 853 overall
Finton Connolly DT 6-3 255 Gilbert, AZ 3-star 1002 overall
Orlando Bradford RB 5-9 195 Shreveport, LA 3-star 1013 overall
Devon Brewer CB 5-10 170 Fresno, CA 3-star 12 overall (Prep)
Dane Cruikshank CB 6-2 190 Glendora, CA 3-star 99 overall (JUCO)
Darrell Cloy TE 6-4 245 Pico Rivera, CA 3-star 14 overall (Prep)
Brion Anduze TE 6-3.5 232 Silverdale, WA 3-star 1097 overall
Kendal Franklin WDE 6-1 220 New Orleans, LA 3-star 1125 overall
Harper Sherman OT 6-5 260 Victoria, BC 3-star 1166 overall
Jamie Nunley TE 6-5 210 Murrita, CA 3-star 1179 overall
Nathan Eldridge OG 6-5 270 Boulder Creek, AZ 3-star 1201 overall
Timmy Hamilton SDE 6-4 250 Coffeyville, KS 3-star 114 overall (JUCO)
Antonio Parks CB 5-10 177 Reserve, LA 3-star 1254 overall
Sammy Morrison CB 5-11 165 Washington, DC 3-star 1362 overall
Alex Kosinski OG 6-5 290 Lakespur, CA 3-star 1539 overall
Demtrius-Flannigan Fowles S 6-3 180 Tucson, AZ 3-star 1656 overall
Matt Morin TE 6-3 245 Riverside, CA 3-star 165 overall (JUCO)
Darrell Clark WR 5-10 175 New Orleans, LA 3-star 1484 overall

Who returns for 2019?

Only three members return for their fifth and final season at Arizona, all of which are expected to contribute heavily as they enter year two of the Kevin Sumlin experience.

It is Cedric Peterson’s time to shine as the lead receiver after battling injuries throughout his career and spent the last few season as a rotational piece. The hope is for him to make the jump that we saw with Shawn Poindexter a season ago. He has 29 receptions, 372 yards and four touchdowns to his name during his time at Arizona.

Cody Creason has been an integral part of the offensive line since he has arrived at Arizona, and remains a flexible piece to the line with experience at multiple positions. On the defensive line we have Finton Connolly, who has also been a valuable piece throughout his career.

Who left the program?

Former four-star lineman Keenan Walker left the program following an arrest on suspicion of assault and landed at Independence CC (during the airing of Last Chance U seasons 3 and 4). He received a few offers to Nebraska and Fresno State, but ultimately tried out with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins upon graduation and did not stick.

The junior college transfer curse continued to hit as defensive tackle Anthony Fotu was kicked off the program just a few games into his career due to a violation of team rules and ended up at West Georgia.

After showing a lot of promise, running back Orlando Bradford was dismissed from the program following his horrific off-field incidents just a few games into his second season

Kendal Franklin was removed from the program after a violation of team rules after one season and spent a season at McNeese State

Offensive lineman Harper Sherman decided to quit football entirely and pursue other passions and Alex Kosinski decided to quit football last season as well

Tight end Jamie Nunley medically retired this off-season and Darrell Cloy was forced to medical retire. He ended up at Cerritos College and has just recently signed at Eastern New Mexico

Center Nathan Eldridge decided to graduate transfer to Oregon State this offseason.

A pair of defensive backs left this offseason as Antonio Parks decided to transfer to UTSA and Sammy Morrison decided to graduate transfer to SDSU

Anthony Mariscal is still currently in the transfer portal, and could go either safety or running back at his next school.

Darrell Clark never made it to campus due to academics, and played out his eligibility at Pima CC and Grambling State

Top players on the class

  1. Shun Brown produced for four years as a receiver and special teamer. While Arizona was a run heavy team throughout his entire career, he had always been a reliable option to create explosive plays.
  2. Dane Cruikshank only spent two years at Arizona but came in immediately as a starting corner and moved over to spur, which ended up getting him drafted by the Tennessee Titans.
  3. Cody Creason is someone who has been underappreciated for the last few years. His flexibility and consistency at guard and tackle have been invaluable while the offensive line has in correction.
  4. Paul Magloire Jr. didn’t get much of an opportunity during the first half of his initial season, but eventually worked his way into a starting role at safety and later transitioned to linebacker where he led the team in tackles during his final season.
  5. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles contributed as a true freshman after he wasn’t initially scheduled to make it to campus in the fall. He was a four-year starter with a good freshman season and a terrific sophomore season. Junior year there was some regression but he was able to get things back on the right path as a senior.

Conclusion

Despite being one of Rich Rodriguez’ highest classes during his time, this class was absolutely decimated due to injuries and poor character. Of the 25 that committed, well less than half ended up contributing significantly. This class brought size from all across the country, but poor development and retention ultimately makes this a very bad class.