The Arizona Wildcats coaching staff has been busy with recruiting this spring, per usual. Last week, we saw Arizona go after some big time recruits, offering some of the top guys in the nation. If you missed that, check it out here. This week, the staff doesn't go nearly as ambitious, but they're still going after some upper-tier 3-star guys at worst.
Still, these guys are coming from championship-caliber high schools. The recruiting game is being elevated each and every year at Arizona. And with this new defensive staff and their recruiting prowess, this could end up being a top 30 recruiting class.
Below are all the guys who have been offered, including an update on two visitors from this weekend.
Darrian Felix, 3-star all-purpose back
Arizona is continuing to search for running backs on the east coast, sending out an offer to Darrian Felix, 3-star all-purpose back ranked 11th at his position.
He currently holds offers to Louisville, Kentucky, Miami, and West Virgnia. You can never have enough running backs, but it'll be interesting to see which ones Arizona will continue to pursue. They still have Russell Halimon and Jessie Britt from this 2016 class, who will gray shirt and join the program in January of 2017.
Phillip Sosaia Paea, 3-star defensive tackle
The need for size on the defensive line is the elephant in the room. With this 3-star defensive tackle in Phillip Paea, Arizona can get that size. The problem trying to land this borderline 4-star recruit out of Berrien Springs, Michigan is his offer list.
He holds offers to Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oregon and USC. Pretty stiff competition this early in the spring. He's ranked 22nd among all defensive tackles, 349th overall. A large get in more ways then one if Paea has any interest in Arizona to begin with.
Blaise Andries, 3-star offensive tackle
Jim Michalczik is pleased with his young depth at offensive line. They've been able to land some huge guys over the last three years, and Blaise Andries is another huge guy.
The 3-star offensive tackle is ranked 53rd at his position and No. 1 in the land of 10,000 lakes. He holds offers to Duke, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska, among others.
Keldrick Carper, 4-star wide receiver
Size at wide receiver is another concern for Arizona after this season. Keldrick Carper is a 6'3" receiver out of Louisiana, ranked 10th in his state and 20th at his position.
Arizona continues to hop into the Bayou state and guys from there are really liking the familiarity with guys from their hometown. Calvin Magee is doing some good things in Louisiana. Carper holds some premium offers with Georgia, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, TCU, and Tennessee, among others.
Alex Cook, 3-star wide receiver
Another big receiver, this time out of California, who has been picking up a lot of attention. Alex Cook is a 6'2" wide receiver from Sacramento, ranked 124th at his position, 87th in the state.
He holds offers to Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. Arizona stacks up fairly well against this competition for now.
Rhedi Short, 3-star safety
Arizona is going after a long-time UCLA commit in Rhedi Short, a 3-star safety out of Los Angeles. He's ranked 43rd among all safeties and 55th in the state of California.
It would be interesting to see how firm he is on his commitment, because he's been picking up some offers as of late. He did follow me back on Twitter immediately, which is a good sign sometimes.
CJ Verdell, 3-star running back
Verdell is a 3-star running back according to Scout, holding offers to Boston College, Oregon and Washington State, among others.
He hails from Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista, CA), which is not to be confused with Mater Dei out of Santa Ana. Arizona is currently talking to a few recruits from that area, including corner back Jalen Cole. Verdel is 5-foot-9 and 195lbs.
He doesn't have a profile on 247Sports so here are his junior year highlights.
Marlon Tuipulotu, 4-star defensive tackle
Arizona continues to go after size on the defensive line, sending out an offer to a 4-star defensive tackle, Marion Tuipulotu, checking in at 6'2" and 275lbs. He's ranked 15th among all defensive tackles and second in the state of Oregon.
He holds offers to Oregon, Washington and USC, so this is some heavy competition for his services.
Baron Browning, 5-star outside linebacker
A big-time offer for Arizona here, trying to get a feel for Baron Browning, the No. 2 ranked outside linebacker in the nation. He's a 6-foot-4, 230lb prospect out of Kennedale, Texas. He holds offers to Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, and TCU, among others.
Blessed to receive an offer from Arizona! #BearDown— Baron Browning (@baronbrwnng) February 27, 2016
Arizona has a lot of young linebackers in the works, and this is an offer I can't imagine having much meaning behind it. Maybe I'm wrong, which would be nice.
Derrek Pitts, 4-star athlete
Rich Rodriguez is invading his home state of West Virginia, seeking a talented athlete in Derrek Pitts, 21st ranked athlete in the nation, ranked No. 1 overall in his state. He stands in at 6'2", 173lbs.
He mostly plays strong safety and corner. At this point, I would think Arizona is going after him as a safety, given their copious amount of offers to that position group and Pitts' size.
Aashari Crosswell, 2018 safety
Arizona going after a younger safety here in Aashari Crosswell out of Hawkins (Los Angeles, CA). This is a school that procudes Division I talent and would be a nice pipeline for the Wildcats to start building.
Bruce Judson Visit
Arizona had a big-time recruit on campus this weekend in Bruce Judson. He's ranked 12th among all athletes in the nation, 123th overall. When I first spoke to him he told me that he is great friends with Braxton Burmeister, one of Arizona's two quarterback commits for the class of 2017. He also loves how Arizona runs their offense, which perked his interest after watching the New Mexico Bowl.
Pool Party later❗️— Bruce Judson Jr™ (@4way_lilbruce) February 27, 2016
Rod Smith (@BearDownRSmith) February 27, 2016
He seemed to have a pretty good time, judging by his tweets and picture. He went to In-N-Out Burger for the first time, Mr. An's, toured the campus and went to a pool party at The Hub. He had a few meetings with quarterbacks coach Rod Smith as well.
Taariq Johnson visit
Arizona also had Tarriq Johnson in for a quick visit, as he was at Arizona State's Junior Day the previous day.
He's a huge receiver out of the Los Angeles area, checking in at 6-foot-4, 210lbs. He has offers to Baylor, Miami, Michigan and Notre Dame, among others, so it was nice to be able to get him on campus for an unofficial.
Hawkins High School visitors
Arizona has been offering a bunch of Hawkins products, which is in the Los Angeles area. They all came down to visit after ASU Junior Day as well. When I spoke to a few of them they all liked the idea that Arizona was recruiting together. Could make things interesting here.