With another year under Rich Rodriguez comes another successful year of recruiting for the Arizona Wildcats. While Rich Rod's recruiting classes may not garner top-recruits or the highest praises from sports sites like ESPN or 247sports, the character of his recruits and work ethics is what separate them above the rest. The OKG (Our Kind of Guys) recruits are what built this program and delivered a Pac-12 South Champion. And the 2015 recruiting class for the University of Arizona is deep with OKGs, who can make a positive impact instantly.
The main question, like every year, is who will make the immediate impact from this year's class. There are several studs that will play and contribute, but will any start? Will any take this team to the next level and win the elusive Pac-12 Championship? There are several who come to mind, like OT Keenan Walker, RB Orlando Bradford, WR Cedric Peterson, or DE/OLB Kendal Franklin.
However, with depth at wide receiver, Peterson seems to be on the outside looking in, having to prove himself first in order to make the rotation. RB Orlando Bradford is in the same boat as Peterson. Having an established running back in Nick Wilson, Bradford seems to be competing for 2nd string, receiving only limited amount of touches. While OT Keenan Walker may seem like an obvious choice as an impact player, his knee injury causes a degree of concern. We will have to wait and see if Walker will contribute this year or take a more conservative route and red-shirt.
Franklin is an interesting prospect. While he has all the athleticism and speed to cause problems to any OT, the maturation of his game and ability to gain muscle mass will be his only downfall. With a full offseason of intense work outs, I believe Franklin can take his game to a whole new level. With the lack of speed and athleticism on the outside, Franklin has a great chance of being in the defensive rotation. It just depends on how quickly he can develop into a complete player.
While all these players have great potential, DL Anthony Fotu will make an immediate impact, creating the most opportunities for this defense and team with his play-making abilities.
During the past year, the absence of size and speed on the defensive line were evident. But both issues were compensated for with the addition of Fotu. The lack of depth along the defensive line will provide ample opportunity to prove himself and earn a starting position. An exciting asset of Fotu is his versatility to play DE/DT. This will only intrigue Rich Rod and Defensive Coordinator Jeff Casteel to create mismatches; positioning Fotu and company to produce plays. At 6'4'' and 285 lbs., Fotu has size to play at the collegiate level, yet adding additional mass will contribute to his play-making abilities, helping the struggling rush defense. His explosiveness off the ball and capability to hand fight will not only create havoc for opposing QBs and offenses, but will free up fellow playmaker, Scooby Wright III. The scarce amount of play makers on defense, as well as the depth on defensive line will give Anthony Fotu an opportunity to showcase himself and earn a starting spot.
Tell us who you think will make the biggest contribution from this year's recruiting class in the comment section below!