It's been a while since Arizona landed a commit, July 28th to the exact, making it a total of 11 commitments in the month of July. Most of the guys who were expected to commit to Arizona have already done so. There's still a good group of guys that are in play for Arizona, with some likely to land with the Wildcats.
Now that it's so close to the season and kids are starting to get more official offers, it's going to be harder to get a better read on these recruits. Here's an update on some of Arizona's recruits.
Quarterback and running back are more than stocked up, leaving it hard to believe that Arizona lands one of the top in-state products, Chase Lucas. The 4-star running back is coming off a visit to ASU and I think that's where he ends up, replacing DJ Foster in the expanded offensive role.
Then there's N'Keal Harry, the No. 1 recruit in the state of Arizona, and Chase Lucas' teammate at Chandler High School. I think the 'Cats are more of an option than people think. With three 4-star quarterbacks coming into the program in the next two years, in a fast-paced offense decently close to home, you figure Arizona has to be an option. For now I'd think Texas A&M leads, with ASU likely not far behind, but don't count Arizona out.
We talked about Bryson Cain last month, saying he was likely to commit soon. As his senior season is approaching, I still expect Cain to commit to Arizona, despite offers to Army, Kansas, Nevada and Wazzu.
We've also talked quite a bit about Matthew Gutwald here. He's picked up a lot of attention from across the country, but when I last spoke to him after his visit, he told me that Arizona was leader. Don't expect his decision to come anytime soon, though. He plans to take his official visits to the big schools drawing interest including Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Stanford.
Evan Weaver's decision date is August 18th. He'll be deciding between Arizona, Boise State, California, Utah, Washington and Washington State. He's yet another defensive end product that could make his way to Tucson, despite five defensive line commits. Washington is probably the leader here, but Arizona has been recruiting him as a defensive end/linebacker, which gives Arizona a small shot given the anemic linebacker depth.
There are still a lot of defensive tackle prospects that Arizona could land, without feeling like complete overkill. Cameron Murray's best offer remains to be Arizona, which is sometimes a pretty good sign for recruits. Less likely to commit now considering the defensive line commits and the potential recruits listed below.
Then there's a pair of former LSU Tigers lined up at Arizona Western College. The first is Travonte Valentine, 6-3 325lb 4-star defensive tackle, who was ranked 65th overall in the class of 2014. His only offer since leaving LSU is Arizona, and you know that our very own Paul Magloire is going to be leading the recruitment for these AWC boys. As of right now, Valentine is the No. 1 JUCO product in the nation.
Next is Trey Lealaimatafao, former 3-star defensive tackle, ranked 33rd in his position coming out of high school. He's 6-0 300lbs who holds offers to Colorado and Hawaii. I have a good feeling that Arizona lands at least one of them, maybe both, which will give the 'Cats immediate size up front for three years before they exhaust their eligibility.
Someone no one is talking about that I feel pretty good about is AJ Hotchkins, Riverside City College linebacker. He's ranked 50th among all JUCO's and 2nd among JUCO linebackers, holding offers to California, Colorado, Texas Tech and Utah, among others. I've been impressed with him since day one, thinking he would be the perfect replacement for Scooby Wright. So AJ Hotchkins is someone to keep a close on going forward in the recruiting process.
Another LSU transfer to Arizona Western College in Clifton Garrett. He was once a 5-star recruit, ranked 28th overall, 2nd among outside linebackers in the class of 2014. Now at AWC, the 6-2 248lb linebacker only holds an offer to Arizona. His recruitment will definitely pick up, but the early exposure to Arizona will certainly help in his recruitment.
Kentrell Love put himself in a good situation, recently committing to Washington, only to later find out that Naijiel Hale had been dismissed. He was someone that I felt Arizona had a great chance at landing. Now, it'll be up to Elijah Battle. When I spoke to him he said that he was planning to commit after his Arizona visit, which was July 28th. Since then, he's picked up an offer from West Virginia, which could be a threat. The more he waits, the more schools he will get jumping at him. But I still feel good about Battle to Arizona.
Now come two of Arizona's highest ranked recruits still on the board. Eric Burrell, 4-star safety out of Maryland, has Arizona in his top eight schools and has said that he will definitely use an official visit to Arizona. It doesn't seem like he's going to commit anytime soon, likely after his season once he takes his official visits. But Arizona might pick up some momentum considering it's the lone Pac-12 school on his list, citing the pass-heavy attack as one of his interests.
Then there's Brandon Burton, 4-star athlete who could play either safety or receiver for Arizona. In a recent interview with Burton, it seemed like Arizona was an afterthought to him, naming Florida State first when talking about his now top eight, after adding Stanford just this week. The more I read, the more I like Florida State's chances at landing him. Along with Arizona's quarterback commit, Khalil Tate, he is great friends with Florida State's quarterback commit, Malik Henry, the nation's 26th ranked recruit and 3rd ranked pro-style QB. His father also apparently lives in Florida. Florida State is also a really, really good program.
In other recruiting news, Arizona safety commit Gavin Robertson was bumped up from a 2-star to 3-star, pushing Arizona's class to No. 26 on 247Sports, No. 21 on Scout and No. 19 on Rivals.