With programs being eliminated from conference championship games and bowl season, we’re going to start to see a huge flurry of recruiting as we approach the dead period, which begins in mid-December.
Coaches will be flying out to schools to visit kids, schedule in-home visits, and offer scholarships. The Arizona Wildcats have already been making their own rounds to check in on their commits as well as some potential new additions.
People have been concerned, and for good reason, that the class is going to see a heavy wave of decommitments after this 3-9 season. The class still has 26 commitments, only losing Elijah Watson after the staff decided to part ways due to off-field issues.
While gray shirting could force recruits to look elsewhere, other programs could also start decomposing Arizona’s recruiting class. Decommits happen to every program no matter what, so one could still slip by for Arizona. However, this class will not see the huge wave of decommitments that hit last cycle.
Tony Dews visits DE/OLB Kylan Wilborn
One of the first commits of the class, Kylan Wilborn, got a visit from Tony Dews. Wilborn mostly played running back this season for Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, California), but will come in as a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker. He’s also a standout track and field star, making state finals in shot put last season and recording a throw of 61 feet, 11.75 inches.
Had a great home visit from Arizona last night! #BearDown pic.twitter.com/xf6gHMVTwd— Kylan Wilborn (@KylanWilborn8) December 1, 2016
Tony Dews and Washington State visit 6-foot-5 wide receiver Warren Jackson
Arizona doesn’t have a whole lot of sized lined up at wide receiver right now, with USF walk-on transfer Zach Benjamin and Shawn Poindexter as the only returning wide receivers over 6-foot-2.
The staff will be adding 6-foot-5 Warren Jackson, who is still a raw wide receiver that has enormous upside for Rich Rodriguez and his offense.
You’ll notice a Washington State trend coming, and it seems as if the Cougars are just trying to poach every Arizona commit here.
Great Arizona home visit ⬇️!!!!!!!!!— Warren Jackson (@WideOutNation18) November 30, 2016
Great home visit from Washington state ✊— Warren Jackson (@WideOutNation18) December 1, 2016
Washington State visits defensive tackle commit Kurtis Brown
An interesting event here, as Washington State heads to California to visit Kurtis Brown, who is recovering from a torn meniscus. Both Arizona and Washington State desperately need size on the defensive line.
I believe Brown is still firm on his commitment, however there could be a situation where the staff asks to gray shirt him, which has happened before with defensive line commits at Arizona and is a terrible, sketchy part of recruiting.
1st home visit from Washington State University #Gocougs pic.twitter.com/JLtAOFNGml— Biggie (@kurtisbrown44) November 30, 2016
Washington State also visits defensive tackle commit Austin Faoliu
A few weeks ago, I brought up the impact of Austin Faoliu’s offer from Washington State. He acted extremely quick on his Arizona offer and committed to join his teammate Xavier Bell. Together, the two were trying to help recruit another teammate, Fa’avae Fa’avae, who isn’t likely to receive an Arizona offer.
Now, Fa’avae has committed to Washington State and is actively recruiting Faoliu to Pullman. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and should be something to keep an eye on with the Cougars staff trying to poach two Wildcat defensive line commits.
Great Home Visit With Wazzu, With My Uso's‼️ #GoCougs !! Future Is Bright! ! PAC-12 TAKEOVER pic.twitter.com/hfqd3NkYsX— F2 (@faavaefaavae) November 29, 2016
Joshua Brown is visited by Marcel Yates and Donte’ Williams
It’s probably a big deal when you get both of these coaches in your living room. Joshua Brown had a stellar senior season at Long Beach Poly and his commitment should not be questioned.
He was recently selected for the US Football National Team.
Arizona Home Visit with Coach Donte & Coach Yates, Real Ones #BearDown pic.twitter.com/E4wwvz7A79— Joshua Brown (@Jbrown3_) December 1, 2016
Brian Casteel gets a visit from Tony Dews
Wide receiver coach Tony Dews has certainly made his rounds over the last few days. He went to check on what I believe is going to be an ultra-productive receiver similar to Nate Phillips and Samajie Grant....just a little taller.
Great first in home visit with coach Dews! #BearDown ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/m0jQu1By6K— BJ (@_BCasteel4) December 1, 2016
Coaching staff visits Arizona Western
Arizona’s coaching staff was out at No. 1 ranked Arizona Western recruiting some guys. Among those would be current 6-foot-7 defensive end commit Matt Leo, who just picked up an offer from Mississippi State.
Another guy who I feel like the staff could round this class out would be Patrick Macon, the leading tackler for the Matadors and a mid-year enrollee. I spoke to him a few weeks ago and he had positive things to say about Arizona. I feel good about Macon, given the lack of depth in Tucson and what he had to say, and a Crystal Ball pick to Arizona seems likely for me.
Thanks Oregon St., Cal, Missouri, Utep,Midd.Tenn St, NIU, Pitt State, SEMO, Indiana State, Arizona for recruiting Arizona Western Today— Tom Minnick (@tcminnick11) November 30, 2016
Coaching staff visits Mountain Pointe
The 6A State Runner-Up has a lot of talent on their roster. While the staff has really only talked to 4-star safety Isaiah Pola-Moa, a guy who I never thought was too serious about Arizona, I would think the staff went to check out 2018 prospects. Wide receiver/safety Kenny Churchwell is included in that group, who I have coming to Arizona in my Crystal Ball.
Thank you to Arizona, USC, Cal, Utah, NAU, Georgetown, Ottawa and Pacific for stopping by today. #ROLLPR1DE— Pride Football (@MPHS_Football) November 30, 2016
Commitment from defensive tackle Sione Tuefahema could come soon
I spoke to 6-foot-3, 320 pound defensive tackle Sione Taufahema of College of the Canyons this week and overall this is a recruitment I feel really good about. I have my Crystal Ball prediction for Arizona.
Vince Amey wants him to plan to take an official visit next weekend.
Darrian McNeal will officially visit this weekend
Arizona’s three-star Florida wide receiver Darrian McNeal has informed me that he will be taking his official visit this weekend. Recruits can use up to five official visits during their senior season, but McNeal will only be needing one. His commitment has been one that should cause no panic.
3-star defensive end Matt Leo picks up new offers
The 6-foot-7, 265 pound defensive end had three offers when he committed to Arizona, with Iowa State and UCF in his back pocket. Now, he has picked up offers to Mississippi State and Oklahoma. He is a mid-year enrollee for Arizona.
I’ve been told that Leo is 100% on his commitment to Arizona.
4-star LB Antjuan Simmons decommits from Ohio State
A long-time Ohio State commit has parted ways with the Buckeyes. 4-star linebacker Antjuan Simmons, ranked No. 298 overall and No. 16 among outside linebackers, apparently has his eye on the Arizona Wildcats now.
Michigan State, Arizona, and Notre Dame are expected to come into play. He took a Michigan State visit a few weeks ago without telling the Ohio State staff. The Buckeyes are also picking up steam on 5-star linebacker Baron Browning. Notre Dame recently lost 4-star linebacker Pete Werner, who is leaning hard for Ohio State.
Arizona does offer some intrigue compared to Simmons’ other schools: out west with warmer weather in the Pac-12, immediate contribution possibilities, and ties to Chris Singletary in the Michigan area. I’m not sure how legitimate this is for Arizona, but it’s something I’ll look into.