Arizona landed yet another 4-star recruit this week in Michael Eletise, ranked No. 9 among all offensive guards in the nation. The 6-4 315lb Hawaiian native had over 42 college offers and chose the Wildcats over Arizona State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, and Washington. "It feels pretty good, I'm not gonna lie," Eletise said about committing to Arizona.
I had predicted that Eletise was going to Washington, as it had seemed as if the Huskies were the leader throughout his entire recruitment process. When he announced that he was committing just a week after his visit to Washington, it seemed like a done deal, especially since he had only taken one unofficial to Arizona back in March. But for him, it was just a matter of trying to balance his family, school work and football that made him realize he had to commit soon.
"I realized school is going to start soon. So that kind of pushed things a little forward. I thought I had all the time in the world. I'll take my official visits and everything, keep my grades up and it'll be all good. But once I got home I realized it's going to be tough to keep grades up with football and all the other activities at the same time, so I kind of made the call. There was my top two, and it really wouldn't have changed, so I just decided I'm going to make the decision and it'll be okay."
Although he had many believing that he was heading to Washington, he said that he was actually pretty set on Arizona for a couple days before announcing that he would commit. "It was between the two schools but I prayed about it and I woke up one day and I just knew. I knew that this was going to be my school. This is the school I'm supposed to go to. It felt right and it felt like this was the best decision for me," he said about the timing of his commitment.
When I first spoke to Michael Eletise back in June, he had said that a relationship with the coaching staff was one of the most important factors in deciding with the school, citing Ragle and Dudek as the two most influential coaches in his recruitment. "I love Coach Ragle and Coach Matt. I talked to them almost every single day. They're genuinely good people. My coach knows Coach Ragle and told me about him because I guess my coach worked for him back in the day and that kind of made a big decision for me. The coaches are a very big part of the situation," he said about the coaching staff.
Eletise was invited to Nike's The Opening, where some of the top recruits from across the nation go head to head in position drills, 7-on-7 and more. Eletise, was one of those top recruits invited.
"It was very humbling to go up against those guys. Over here, you're the top dog on one island and you go over there and you're with a bunch of other top dogs. It's just humbling to see how you stack up against good players. I'm allowed to get away with stuff here because they say I'm the biggest and I'm good, but over there everyone is really big and really good. It showed what I have to work on and it was really helpful. I was talking to other offensive linemen and how they got here and where they're from and everyone is just so talented and hard working. It was an eye opener for me."
Eletise says the he will plan an official visit soon to Tucson, so that he can continue meeting his future teammates. He wants on getting faster and improving his techniques, so he'll be able to run and keep up with Arizona's high-powered offense.