The Arizona Wildcats are in the midst of a recruiting wildfire for 2016 but landed the commitment of a 2017 quarterback prospect, Rhett Rodriguez. The local Catalina Foothills product has been a three-year starter for the Falcons and accepted a scholarship offer to Arizona, where he will come play for his father, Rich.
I'm proud to announce that I have accepted a scholarship offer to play at the University of Arizona! #BearDown pic.twitter.com/akhYRXjbRw— Rhett Rodriguez (@rhett_rod) January 17, 2016
Rhett Rodriguez is the signal caller at Catalina Foothills, where he led his team to a 9-3 record, losing to Paradise Valley in the Division III quarterfinals this past season. He completed over 66% of his passes, threw for 20 touchdowns, and only got picked off twice. He proved to be a threat in the option game as well, carrying the ball for 624 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 6-1 180lb quarterback is tough and fast. His junior year highlights are below.
This gives Arizona two commits for the class of 2017, both of which are quarterbacks. He will be joining 4-star quarterback Braxton Burmeister, who was just offered by Utah earlier in the week. As things stand right now, Arizona will have five scholarship quarterbacks in 2017, with Anu Solomon, Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate already on campus.
So now the question is what Rhett brings to the table. Well, he's another option-style quarterback who will push his teammates. Of course, he also knows the offensive system inside and out. In countless press conferences throughout the season, Rhett's name came up. Rich would explain that the two would watch Catalina Foothills game film and break it down weekly.
It's hard to tell exactly where Rhett fits in when it comes to depth. He knows the offense and is a true student of the game, but I don't think he's the future of a program that's on the up and up. But you just never know with this father-son duo. He didn't have any scholarship offers that I had known of, and this seems to be a bit of reach, but he still has another season to refine his game and lead his team to a state championship. But this could be a good thing. Rhett committing to Arizona could potentially keep his dad here longer. Rhett is not one to decommit from his father's program, nor do I think he'll explode onto the scene as a top 4-star guy with schools pursuing him.
I don't think that Rhett committing to Arizona is a sure-fire answer to keeping his dad in town for at least five years however. I find it a little odd that he was offered a scholarship, simply because he could come on as a preferred walk-on and been granted a tuition waiver, a benefit received by university employees. I'm not entirely sure where the scholarship numbers line up, but I find it interesting that the staff has been asking guys to gray and blue shirt, with Rhett receiving a scholarship, likely arriving on campus on-time, despite having four very viable quarterbacks in the system.
Rich Rodriguez' name has popped up for numerous coaching jobs, and it's fair to say that many believed he was heading to South Carolina just a couple months ago. Only time will tell if he gets an offer from a premier, powerhouse program. He's done great things for Arizona in just four years here, and it's only a matter time until this thing takes off. He's said numerous times that he believes he can build Arizona into one of the greatest programs in the country, and I truly believe that statement and his intentions. Still, this is the business of college football and anything can happen. But with Rhett committing to his father, that's surely a good sign for things to come.