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Arizona football recruiting: Tracking where all of the Wildcats' top targets signed

So close, yet so far

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats had a crazy recruiting season. Since Rich Rodriguez took over, the staff usually starts landing commitments in March and has been able to hold them all the way through signing day in February. Following this recruiting class, there were a lot of prospects that Arizona had in the mix, most on this list were former commits or had Arizona in their top three or so.

After all the hurricane of news came on National Signing Day, I went back and found all of Arizona's top prospects throughout this recruiting period to see where they officially ended up.

Shea Patterson, 5-star quarterback

Remember this name? He committed to Arizona when he was a sophomore in high school. His brother, Sean, was an employee at Arizona but went to LSU for a quality control position. As soon as this happened, Patterson decommitted and all signs pointed to LSU for Shea as well. Sean later resigned from LSU and took a job with Ole Miss as the associate director of recruiting operations. Shea followed him there.

Patterson came from Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. That sounds familiar because Orlando Bradford and Shun Brown both came from that school.

Devon Modster, 4-star quarterback

A long time Arizona commit, Modster decommitted from the program on New Year's Day and didn't take long to decide on UCLA. While I didn't think that Modster would fit at Arizona, considering the heavy depth, I think he will be able to do great things at UCLA, sitting behind Josh Rosen and competing for the starting job afterward. I get a feeling that Modster will be shredding up the Pac-12.

Melquise Stovall, 4-star running back

Arizona was in the mix for Stovall, but I'm really not too sure how serious things were. He decommitted from USC because he wanted to play offense and the Trojans staff wanted him on defense. He ended up signing with California, who assembled a great class in my opinion.

Sean Riley, 3-star running back

Riley was told to grey shirt by the coaching staff, so he ended up at Syracuse. Not much really here. Riley was essentially replaced by Jessie Britt, who will be grey shirting.

Trevor Speights, 3-star running back

Speights committed to Arizona a long, long, long time ago. He ended up decommitting back in April and I thought it was because Texas A&M was getting in his ear. He ended up signing with Stanford, so we'll be able to see him in the next few years.

Tyliek Raynor, 3-star running back

Arizona essentially parted ways with Raynor just after the New Year. He ended up going to Temple, staying close to home.

N'Keal Harry, 5-star wide receiver

The 7th-ranked receiver in the nation was a frequent visitor to Tucson, and I felt like there was a pretty decent shot at landing him. His girlfriend is currently a member of the track and field team at Arizona and the need for his size in this offense was imperative. Welp, he ended up signing with ASU.

Kee Whetzel, 3-star receiver

A late recruiting process for Whetzel had Arizona in his top three with Maryland and UCF. I figured Arizona had a decent shot, but the longer his process lingered, the more it seemed likely he would stay close to him and go to UCF. Oregon State got a hold of him, got him in for a visit and he committed there. A 6-3 receiver would have been nice, but I'll enjoy watching him for the Beavs.

Matthew Gutwald, 3-star offensive guard

Gutwald had told me that Arizona was his top choice after his visit this summer, but was waiting to hear from Stanford, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. Neither of the three offered him, only giving him a preferred walk-on position. He chose Stanford over Notre Dame, wanting a very valuable degree.

Jake Burton, 3-star defensive end

The long-time Arizona commit suddenly flipped to UCLA late in the process. He told me that once you factor how great the Bruins have been, with the education and proximity to home, it just feels right. I can't blame him.

Dez Fitzpatrick, 4-star wide receiver

A lot of people were getting excited over Fitzpatrick, especially considering the need at wide receiver. I never got the Arizona vibe from him. He ended up picking Louisville, after decommitting from them previously.

Evan Weaver, 3-star defensive end

Weaver had Arizona, California and Washington in his final three and stuck with California. His commitment came around the same time Arizona already had about four defensive line commits, so this would have been a surprising get all things considered.

Jabari Watson, 3-star defensive tackle

Another long-time Arizona commit, and when I spoke to him he pretty much told me that Arizona was backing off of him and wanted him to blue shirt, which means he would have been able to play this upcoming season, but would essentially be a walk-on the first season, earning a scholarship for the following year.

Markell Utsey, 3-star defensive tackle

Utsey suddenly flipped from Arizona to Missouri after one of his good friends decommitted from Boise State for the Tigers as well. Prior to his decommitment, Donté Williams had an in-home visit with Utsey and beat him in NBA 2K.

Curtis Robinson, 4-star linebacker

Arizona made Robinson's top six prior to his commitment last April. He ended up picking USC, although I had a decent feeling about him going to Arizona. Oh well.

Jonathon Kongbo, 5-star defensive end/linebacker

Remember this name, because when he's in the league a few years down the road terrorizing NFL quarterbacks, it's going to sting, kinda like Cam Newton. Kongbo was the No. 1 ranked junior college player in the nation out of Arizona Western, Paul Magloire's former school. Kongbo got an offer from Arizona and made it to the Utah game for an official visit. Things were looking up. Then he got reeled in by Tennessee and committed, another top defensive stud they snagged over Arizona.

I heard that there was a chance that Kongbo might not qualify for Tennessee, needing a certain math class that he needed to pass. A few weeks later, he suddenly decommitted from the Vols, and things seemed promising once again. But then schools like Oregon, Washington and Ole Miss got in the mix and Arizona was drowned out. He ended up signing with Tennessee, meaning he passed his math class.

AJ Hotckins, 3-star linebacker

I was told by some sources that AJ Hotckins was a lock for Arizona in this upcoming recruiting class. Of course, as soon as Arizona offers someone, Oregon usually follows. Hotckins took a visit to Oregon and ended up committing to the Ducks.

Calvin Bundage, 4-star linebacker

This was a super odd recruitment. Bundage seemed like a lock for Oklahoma throughout the past year. Oklahoma started landing some top linebackers and then it seemed as if that changed the landscape. Arizona always figured to be somewhat in the mix with the ties to Cayman Bundage, his older brother. A few days before signing day, he released his top five, which didn't include Arizona. But days before NSD, he tweeted about 10 images of Arizona edits and graphics. At his signing day table, an Arizona hat was present. He ended up picking Oklahoma State.

Kapri Doucet, 4-star linebacker

One of the top JUCO linebackers in the nation was once committed to Arizona. Once Jeff Casteel was let go, Doucet opened up his recruitment. Sure, it's a tough loss, but this staff will certainly outdo the previous coaching staff in one season of recruiting.

Emmanuel Beal, 2-star linebacker

One of Kapri Doucet's teammates at Lackawanna College, Beal was waiting for an Arizona offer for the longest time. He told me it was his dream school and that he was going to commit during his visit. Prior to his visit, Oklahoma got a hold of him. Beal ended up canceling his Arizona visit and going straight to Oklahoma, where he will join Doucet. Mark that as three linebackers OU has stolen from Arizona, with Arthur McGinnis from the 2015 recruiting class.

Kaelin Himphill, 3-star linebacker

This was a bit of an odd recruitment, and a bit unfortunate for Himphill. His process blew up pretty late and he needed more time to evaluate his decisions. Oregon State literally gave him an ultimatum; commit now or we pull your offer. He needed more time and chose to move on, even though Oregon State was likely his first choice. Then Arizona started picking up linebackers left and right, likewise with Utah, and now Himphill will be playing at San Diego State.

Traveon Beck, 3-star corner

A big-time corner who I really liked watching. Arizona probably wasn't in his top three, but once he got his Cal offer I knew it was over. He had said for the longest time that it was his dream school. California is going to be building a nice secondary over the next few years.

Elijah Battle, 2-star corner

Elijah Battle, 2-star JUCO corner, once told me that he was going to commit on his visit in late July. He went on his visit and I was waiting for his announcement. Nothing happened. A few weeks went by and he got an offer from West Virginia. Nothing happened. Then in December, he committed to West Virginia and was planning to enroll early. On the signing day for junior college mid-year enrollees, he signed with Minnesota. Turns out he was academically ineligible and couldn't enroll. Then on National Signing Day, he went back to WVU.

Brandon Burton, 4-star athlete

This was another odd recruitment, as Arizona made Burton's top four, but wasn't in his top six. When Arizona first got a hold of Burton, I actually liked their chances. Khalil Tate was recruiting left and right, and as high school teammates, this could have been a heavenly match. But then things with Florida State started heating up, then UCLA came in hot and it was all over. He's now at UCLA and will likely play safety if I'm not mistaken.

London Iakopo, 3-star safety

Yet another long-time Arizona commit. Once the coaching changes were made for Arizona, I got a bad feeling about his commitment. He scheduled visits for Louisville and Missouri and that's pretty much when the writing was on the wall for me. He never returned any of my texts as well, and he was usually pretty prompt about getting back to me. He's now with Louisville.

Lamar Jackson, 4-star safety

This one was just too little, too late. Arizona had been on Jackson at the beginning of the season, but things must have gone in different directions. Once this new staff came in, they went back in on Jackson. Arizona made his final list, but all signs were pointing to Nebraska.

Eric Burrell, 4-star safety

Another 4-star safety here and I felt that Arizona had a good chance when I spoke to him. He comes from Maryland, and Arizona was his lone Pac-12 offer, one of two offers west of the Mississippi. For some reason, he was in love with Duke and Wisconsin, ending up with Wisconsin.

Clifford Chattman, 3-star safety

Chattman had Arizona, Florida State and Texas A&M in his final three. He got an Arizona offer and quickly scheduled an official visit. When I spoke to him, he said that Arizona was a 10/10 and I actually felt pretty decent about the Wildcats' chances, despite the competition. He took a visit to FSU the next weekend and committed. About 24 hours prior to signing day, he tweeted saying he will announce between FSU and A&M. He ended up signing with A&M.

Victor Viramontes, 3-star athlete

Another late recruiting push here, Arizona seemed to be in good standing but then California went heavy on the quarterback pitch. Arizona was recruiting him as a safety and he ultimately wanted to play on offense.

TaDarryl Marshall, 3-star athlete

He had Arizona, Illinois and Tennessee in his final three and was planning on taking all three of his visits on back-to-back-to-back weekends. He took all visits, then scheduled a visit to South Alabama. A few days later, he signed with Samford. Alrighty.