Arizona’s goal of landing the best talent from within the state produced a triple shot of success on Monday.
Running back Adam Mohammed and offensive linemen Matthew Lado and Michael Watkins, teammates at Glendale’s Apollo High School, all committed to the Wildcats on Instagram Live. Each made official visits to UA in the past three weeks.
Mohammed is the centerpiece of the trio, a 3-star prospect who is ranked by 247Sports as No. 1,437 in the 2024 recruiting class. He’s the No. 111 running back in the country and the 36th-best prospect from Arizona.
Lado and Watkins don’t have composite rankings yet, but 247 has Lado as the No. 104 offensive tackle in the country and Watkins as the No. 150 interior offensive lineman.
Mohammed is Arizona’s second running back to commit for 2024, joining 4-star California prospect Brandon Johnson. Lado and Watkins are the Wildcats’ first two offensive linemen to pledge in this class.
All told, Arizona is up to 11 known commitments for 2024, seven to come on board in June and four on Monday alone.
Here’s what our recruiting expert, Brandon Combs, had to say about each of the Apollo three:
Mohammed shows a great combination of size and speed. Its doesn’t take him very long to hit his stride and, coupled with excellent vision and a fluid lower body, is able to weave his way through running lanes. He couples that speed with good size, 6-feet and about 185 pounds. This combination makes him a difficult ball carrier to bring down. Mohammed has a pretty flexible game. He is effective as a traditional running back, in the Wildcat, and as a kick returner. What’s more, he’s also a threat catching passes out of the backfield. In his varsity career, he has 7 touchdowns on only 21 catches.
Mohammed has had two extremely successful varsity seasons statistically. During his junior season, he put up video game-like numbers. He racked up 1,341 yards, on 178 carries. That’s 7.5 yards a pop. What’s even more eye-popping are his 30 rushing touchdowns. Add on to that his 190 yards and 2 scores on 20 catches and you have a dangerous weapon.
On the recruiting front, Mohammed has 8 total offers, with half of those coming from Power Five programs. He chose Arizona over California, Boston College, Iowa State, Northern Arizona, Colorado State, Utah State, and Montana State.
Lado is a solid offensive tackle prospect that has a ton of upside. He is a little raw, but he has plenty of tools to work with. He has good leg drive and is good at locking into a block, driving his opponent back and opening running lanes. He has a good frame that has plenty of room to add more muscle, measuring in at around 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds. He is a better run blocker than pass blocker, but he does do a good job on the edge to protect his QB. He does play with inconsistent pad level, but he’s still able to be successful due to his strength.
He didn’t take too long sitting on his offer with the ‘Cats offering him at the end of January. Lado chose Arizona over Utah State, Colorado State, and Montana State.
Watkins is a mauler. He is pretty quick off the snap and explodes out of his stance. Watkins also shows plenty of athleticism and quickness. A pretty common sight to see in his game is Watkins becoming a pulling guard. There is no better way to showcase that athleticism. Once Watkins engages his opponent, he continues to drive his legs, blowing the defender away from the line and ball carrier. Watkins also has the ability to pack a pretty big punch on contact. There are multiple instances of seeing him engage his defender, and seeing the player jolt due to that punch. Overall, Watkins has all the tools needed to be successful at the next level.
Staying Home!!! pic.twitter.com/Qsn9MudnN4— Michael Levelle Watkins (@michael_watk1ns) June 19, 2023
On the recruiting front, Watkins chose Arizona over 8 other offers: Utah State, Northern Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico State, Army, Weber State, Montana State, and Colorado State.