The Arizona Wildcats are well past their 2016 recruiting and have already started picking up some steam for 2017. The coaching staff had offered quite a few 2017 guys last summer and through the fall, but they've been picking it up once again, sending out a few offers this week.
Arizona is starting to go after some of the top guys in the nation. The Wildcats usually throw out offers to top guys, just to get a feel, but this seems to be an unusual amount. Maybe you could say it's the new staff, coming off the winningest four-year stretch in Arizona history. I feel like this staff is still a year or two away from landing some of these guys, but who knows what they pull off given the closing of the 2016 recruiting class.
When going up against programs like Florida State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC, UCLA -- it's hard for me to imagine Arizona landing guys up against true championship contenders. The program just isn't there yet. It's still competing to the be the 4th-best option in the Pac-12 South.
Tyjon Lindsey, 5-star receiver
Arizona threw out an offer at one of the top receivers in the nation, ranked 16th among all recruits, 3rd at his position. He was previously at national powerhouse Bishop Gorman, but has just recently announced he will be heading back home to California, where he will play for Centennial, an Arizona pipeline.
He holds offers to Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M and USC, among other blueblood programs.
Jalen Harris, unranked receiver/defensive end
One of the biggest receivers in the state of Arizona received his first official offer. Jalen Harris is a 6-4, 210lb receiver out of Desert Ridge High School (Mesa, AZ), who happens to be the son of Sean Harris, one of the leaders of the Desert Swarm defense. He's not ranked now, but don't worry, it's still very early in the recruiting process for 2017 and he will earn his stars. Arizona is almost always one of the first power five programs to offer a guy. The rest of the Pac-12 will follow, just wait.
Jalen Harris (@JHarr8245) February 10, 2016
Sophomore corner Sammy Morrison approves of the offer, who is also a legacy of the Desert Swarm defense.
His junior year highlights are below. He also plays defensive end as well.
Darnay Holmes, 5-star corner
This is a big-time recruit here that Arizona could be in the mix for. Darnay Holmes is the number one corner in the nation, 6th overall among all recruits. His older brother is Darick, a sophomore receiver for Arizona, which should give Arizona a decent standing among his finalists.
He has set his announcement date for June 26th, which happens to be his birthday. Arizona is in his top seven, with some pretty elite company.
Bruce Judson, 4-star athlete
He'll be visiting Arizona on February 18th, but he told me his dream school is Florida, just two hours away from his hometown of Cocoa, Florida. Miami and South Carolina are also in the mix.
But what's interesting here is how he got involved with Arizona. He's good friends with 2017 quarterback commit Braxton Burmeister from a camp back when they were freshmen. Judson hit Burmeister up while watching the New Mexico Bowl after watching the offense and seeing how it operated, thinking he could be a nice piece to the puzzle.
Plenty of top 300 talent in Arizona
There are a lot of high-profile guys that Arizona has been in contact with, all within the Phoenix area:
- Tyler Johnson, a 6-4, 245lb tight end out of Highland (Gilbert, AZ), ranked fifth among tight ends and 211th overall.
- Austin Jackson, 6-5, 260lb offensive tackle out of North Canyon (Phoenix, AZ), the 4th-ranked OT in the nation, 14th overall.
- There's also Isaiah Pola-Moa, 6-4, 190lb safety ouf of Mountain Pointe (Phoenix, AZ), ranked 18th among all safeties and 257th overall. I wrote a piece on his Arizona offer back in June.
These are guys to keep an eye out for.
Arizona targeting California heavily
Arizona has been scouting California for some linemen on both sides of the ball. Other notable guys in the recruiting class could be:
- 3-star OT Popo Aumavae
- 3-star OT Ryan Nelson
- Unranked OG Kanan Ray (Offers to ASU and UCLA)
- 3-star center Brett Neilon, and
- 4-star DE Jaelan Phillips. Each of their names are linked to their 247Sports profile.