Quarterback play has been an issue for the Arizona Wildcats this season, which can be attributed to the offensive line play. But the staff still has plenty of talent with Anu Solomon, Brandon Dawkins, and Khalil Tate. Next season, Rich Rodriguez will bring in 4-star dual-threat signal caller Braxton Burmeister and 3-star dual-threat Rhett Rodriguez.
For 2018, the staff has already secured Jamarye Joiner, a 4-star quarterback according to 247Sports. He secured the offer after week one of his junior season and quickly committed, despite telling me that he would wait until his senior season to commit.
Now, Arizona has extended an offer to 3-star quarterback Re-al Mitchell, dual-threat prospect out of St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA), a national powerhouse ranked No. 4 in the nation according to MaxPreps. It’s interesting to see the offer given the Joiner commitment a few weeks ago. Mitchell currently holds an offer to Utah, with Arizona becoming his second one from the Pac-12.
I got a chance to speak with Mitchell about his recruitment process so far.
“My recruitment (with Arizona) really started about only two months ago, receiving multiple letters that had game invitations within them,” he said about his initial contact with the Wildcats. “Jaiden Woodbey, a safety for (St. John) Bosco, who has an offer from Arizona, along with some of my 7-on-7 coaches, I know put in a good word with the coaching staff.”
“I thought it would be a good idea to visit the school. (The Stanford game) was my real first interaction with the staff. I couldn't talk to everyone I wanted to but coach Donte’ Williams expressed their extreme interest in me as a quarterback after the game.”
Just one day after the unofficial visit, Rich Rodriguez offered Mitchell a scholarship over the phone.
“The next day, on my way back home, I talked to coach Rodriguez over the phone and he explained how after watching my highlights I would fit extremely well into Arizona's offense and that he loves my style of play being that I can both run and throw, concluding with he was offering me a scholarship,” Mitchell said about that phone call.
Recruits see the product on the field. It’s a 2-6 team with a depleted depth chart and a fairly new assistant staff. Recruits can see that they can make an impact and turn the tide for Arizona.
It also seems like everyone in Los Angeles knows about Donte’ Williams. They believe in him when he tells them they’ll fit in the scheme, and that they’re going to be developed as an athlete, student, and man.
“Well I think that it's obvious their season isn't going according as earlier planned and from the 4 or 5 games I've watched of Arizona it's their offense that hasn't produced like they should be,” Mitchell noted about the team’s performance. “As a quarterback, I feel as if I'd make a needed impact in the offense since I come from a high school that is known for producing smart quarterbacks.”
The most recent notable quarterbacks out of the school include former UW quarterback Keith Price and Josh Rosen of UCLA.
“The visit was really good though,” Mitchell said about his time on campus. “I appreciated the tour I received and the student ambassadors that gave it.”
Playing in a spread offense also gives him flexibility to make reads that lead into big plays.
“I love the spread offense a lot and the fact that one play can have three different options so the defense can never be right,” continued Mitchell. “I look forward to building more relationships with the staff soon.”
The 3-star quarterback is starting to see his stock rise this season after an 8-2 start, and his team ranked fourth in the nation overall. He has an offer from Utah already, and tells me that Penn State, Northwestern, and Washington State have shown a good amount of interest as well, with offers potentially coming soon.
Quarterbacks are typically the first recruits to commit to a class given that most schools only take one. Mitchell is going to want to commit this offseason after taking a few more unofficial visits.
“Deciding factors will be how much of a relationship I've built with each staff and their vision for me in their future,” he explained. “I'm not set coming into a program and starting as a freshman, whereas a lot of young players now think that's a real reality for them. It'd be nice though, whether a redshirt or otherwise.”
The relationship with a coaching staff seems to ultimately be why a recruit commits to a school. But only a select few schools will be in consideration for Mitchell, as he’s looking to stay west for a specific education.
“As long as the school has my type of major (sports medicine/ kinesiology) they're definitely in strong consideration,” continued Mitchell. “Distance from home isn't a problem that'll be considered although I'd like to stay on the west coast.”
His junior year highlights are below
When I spoke with 2018 commit Jamarye Joiner, he had told me that he was planning to commit after his senior season. His plans clearly changed as he committed just a few days later, moving pretty quickly. Still, we’ve seen how explosive he is in his first season at Cienega.
It’s interesting to see how much interest Arizona has in Mitchell as quarterback, despite the Joiner commitment. A commitment from Mitchell could ultimately bump out Joiner, which would also help in landing 5-star safety Jaiden Woodbey as well, potentially creating a pipeline to yet another top school in the country.