The Arizona Wildcats had a big weekend of recruiting, with a handful of guys on their official visits. Among those visitors, was Kahi Neves, who flipped his commitment from Utah to Arizona late Saturday night. The 3-star linebacker will enroll this January, and join the team in spring practice.
I had someone ask me about Arizona's chances with Kahi Neves given his official visit this weekend. I said not to think much of it, but hindsight is 20/20. Him being committed since October of 2014 to Utah, and just now taking an official to Arizona probably might have been a good sign.
Committed. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/3aJapjhRab— Kahi (@KAHINEVES) December 13, 2015
He committed to Utah as a quarterback, but had been recruited by Arizona as a linebacker. Checking in at 6-3, 240lbs, he's got a nice frame to put on more good weight. In his senior season at Timpview High School (Provo, UT), he solely played quarterback. But it was his junior year at Brighton High School in Salt Lake City, where he made a name for himself as a linebacker.
Neves was someone that Arizona had been flirting with for quite some time, despite his commitment to Utah. Rich Rodriguez is adamant about his commits not taking any official visits, but welcomed Kahi Neves with open arms here.
One thing I find amazing about this coaching staff is the fact that they're so successful at landing commits on the spot during a visit. We've seen many guys such as Sean Riley, Gavin Robertson, JJ Taylor, Tyliek Raynor, and DeVaughn Cooper do it before. Recruits tell me all the time they feel so comfortable with this staff, and the relationships they make along the way.
Neves also has a great relationship with Devon Modster and Khalil Tate, along with a few other commits from various satellite camps and recruiting events. Neves had also played with a few other guys on the team as well, hailing from Cardinal Newman High School, playing as a freshman when Scooby Wright III was a senior, and then transferring out to Kaiser High School, playing with Arizona's highest-ranked commit, Michael Eletise. From there, Neves bounced around through various high schools, but now he'll prepare for his future as a linebacker in Tucson.
You have to like what Arizona is doing with this recruiting class. They're putting together some nice pieces that fit their system. This coaching staff knows they can build something great here at Arizona, and these recruits rave about how Arizona feels like a family to them. Have all your gripes with the 3-3-5 defense and defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, but he's been a large part to this success in the recruiting game as well.
Kahi Neves told me back in the spring that he thinks Jeff Casteel is one of the best defensive coaches in college football; made an impact— Matt Moreno (@MattGOAZCATS) December 13, 2015
With the commitment of Kahi Neves, Arizona now has the 33rd-ranked recruiting class in the nation. In Rich Rodriguez' previous four classes, they all fell within the 30-45 range, but with a month and a half left of recruiting, and eight potential spots to fill, this class could crack the top 25. Be on the lookout for guys like Terrell Burgess, Lorenzo Burns, Josh JJ Allen, Kapri Doucet, Kaelin Himphill, and maybe even guys like Melquise Stovall and Dez Fitzpatrick.
Arizona might have a highly ranked recruiting class, but more importantly, Arizona has the pieces in this class that truly fit the system. Khalil Tate could be the Denard Robinson or Pat White-type quarterback Rich Rodriguez has been longing for. Sean Riley and JJ Taylor make for great additions in the backfield, and DeVaughn Cooper makes you drool.
On defense, Arizona will finally have size all along the line, with Jake Burton, Justin Holt and Markell Utsey. Burton is a 6-6 250lb defensive end, with Holt and Utsey both checking in at 300lbs. Holt's just a bit shorter at 6-0, Utsey at 6-4.
Then you start bringing in guys like Jacob Colacion, Gavin Robertson, London Iakopo, and now Kahi Reves. Sadly, Colacion will be out with a torn ACL and Gavin Robertson, to me, is one of the most underrated prospects in the this class. London Iakopo can translate immediately a la Paul Magloire, and Kahi Reves has the potential to be Scooby Wright-esque.