The Arizona Wildcats had a busy weekend filled with unofficial visits from recruits all across the country. Most came from the Los Angeles area, coming in large groups whether that might have been through their high school or 7-on-7 team. There were 10-12 guys who already had offers and a large amount of guys who hadn't been offered yet. After seeing all of the recruits on the field after practice on Friday, I'd imagine there were close to about 30 recruits there.
And after Friday's practice, Rich Rodriguez talked a bit about recruiting and mentioned how important unofficial visits are for the program.
"Unofficial visits are the key now," Rodriguez said about the big recruiting weekend ahead. "Official visits are way overrated nowadays because they've already decided. Unofficial visits are the key, and we've got a bunch of unofficial visits today of probably 10-12 offer guys, so we're seeing the results already."
Among those visitors were some highly-touted prospects, some 2018 prospects, and even a few unranked guys that don't have a whole lot out there. These were big groups that came to Arizona, so they were probably just bringing guys for the exposure as well.
We've talked about how the recruiting has elevated at Arizona, especially with this new coaching staff, so don't worry so much about the unranked guys. It's only a matter of time until all of the major recruiting services start ranking guys as we approach the evaluation period. And as always, you can expect a few certain schools to offer kids as soon as Arizona gets a hold of them, in turn boosting their ranking.
2018 wide receiver Brian Hightower offer
Blessed to receive an offer from The University of Arizona #BearDown pic.twitter.com/GPFOQQU7o9— Brian Hightower (@longlivee14) March 26, 2016
This is a big time 2018 wide receiver who will have offers from all across the country. I can't imagine Arizona being his landing spot come 2018, but still impressive to be able to get these guys on campus, especially one from IMG Academy, literally across the country.
Alex Forsyth offer
Blessed to say I have received an offer from The University of Arizona! #GodIsGreat #BearDown pic.twitter.com/D5dE7qKFJU— Alex Forsyth (@alexforsyth75) March 26, 2016
This is a new offer that could be intriguing. He has the typical frame of an Arizona tackle and I would think Coach Michalczik is the lead recruiter on this, with Forsyth as an offensive linemen and the Pacific Northwest being his area.
He has a lot of interest from the Pac-12 and he'll probably continue to get more attention as the process continues.
T.J. Pledger offer
Blessed to receive a offer from the University Of Arizona. #RIPBRYCE pic.twitter.com/8I3VtH3RbC— TJ Pledger (@uno_tj) March 26, 2016
Pledger is a four-star running back that was on campus who I'm not entirely sure Arizona will end up getting. Offers to USC, Ohio State and Georgia as a running back is just too much. Plus Arizona has a bevy of backs, including Jessie Britt and Russell Halimon, who will join this 2017 class.
Trevor Russell visit
Stay blessed up thank you to UofA and @CoachRodAZ for having me out yesterday and today pic.twitter.com/iXRM0WReRC— Trev (@Trevor__Russell) March 26, 2016
An unranked prospect out of Casa Grande, Russell plays wide receiver and free safety. He doesn't have an offer yet and it's hard to imagine Arizona going after him this early in the process. This figures to be more of a preferred walk-on situation.
Kurtis Brown visit
Freaking loved my Arizona visit today! #BearDown pic.twitter.com/hz5xdc5bmK— ❕Big Kurt❕ (@kurtisbrown44) March 26, 2016
He had a long conversation with Anthony Mariscal after practice on Friday, who also attended Liberty High School. He's been really high on Arizona and I think Arizona is the favorite to land him when all is said and done.
Isaiah Thomas offer
Thankful to say that I've received my 12th offer from the University of Arizona! #Wildcats pic.twitter.com/r3GSyAd4ab— Isaiah✊ (@Isaiah_t55) March 23, 2016
An unranked 2017 prospect who has a lot of offers already. For now, I wouldn't put too much stock into this one, although his size would be really nice on the defensive line.
Thomas Graham Jr.
Graham is another top-ranked corner that Arizona is in pursuit of. With this new coaching staff, I feel good about Arizona landing another corner to match up with Greg Johnson. Whether it's Thomas Graham, Darnay Holmes, Elijah Blades or someone else, Arizona will land another top corner.
Loving this Arizona Visit! #BearDown— Chris Brooks (@Breezy101C) March 26, 2016
Great Arizona Visit today! Feels like home... Can't wait for the next one. #BearDown @prowaytraining #Unofficial pic.twitter.com/cMiDm65bYS— Chris Brooks (@Breezy101C) March 27, 2016
I'd be 100% shocked if Chris Brooks did not end up at Arizona at this point.
Brian Casteel wide receiver
Had a great unofficial visit! Loved it! #BearDown pic.twitter.com/QjLD4Ua0FJ— BJ (@_BCasteel4) March 26, 2016
This is a guy who I could see coming to Arizona. When we spoke he was really excited about this unofficial visit and I will catch up with him to get a run down.
Cameron Williams, freshman quarterback
THE PROWAY'S FAB FRESHMEN,QB CAMERON WILLIAMS FROM BAKERSFIELD HIGH,PICKS UP 1st OFFER FROM ARIZONA! #ProwayFamily pic.twitter.com/5Dvqd1mDs5— The Pro Way Training (@prowaytraining) March 26, 2016
This is a new prospect that could be interesting come a few years down the road. Being a freshman in high school means he won't be graduating until 2019, which is a really long way to go. But it's important to note that guys have a soft spot for programs that hand them their first offer.
Thank you UofA for showing me a great time!! #BearDown pic.twitter.com/qANAJzW2YI— Rhedi Short (@Rhedoggy) March 24, 2016
Short is a UCLA commit who I think might not be all that solid on his commitment. This could be another interesting prospect to watch out for. A solid 3-star safety who Arizona could make a great pitch to.
Day 2 in AZ we'll be back #beardown pic.twitter.com/eof2rdLt7w— BGXIII⭐️ (@braden_gordon13) March 26, 2016
Gordon has a great relationship with Dane Cruikshank, that's about all I know about him other than he's currently a sophomore wide receiver and corner out of Independence High (Bakersfield, CA). His highlights are below.
Lamin Rex Touray
Had a great weekend visiting ASU and Arizona! Both great programs. #BearDown #ForksUp pic.twitter.com/NEZchpHFNa— Lamin Rex Touray (@laminrex47) March 27, 2016
Another 2017 prospect, this time an extremely well-built linebacker for being a junior. Touray is a 6'2" 225lb kid out of Bishop Alemany. His freshman year highlights are below.
Unofficial visit #BearDown #UofA pic.twitter.com/wP3LCG0j6Y— Jamal Tims (@_JDT7) March 27, 2016
Jamal Tims doesn't have much info out there, but he is a wide receiver and cornerback out of Muir High School (Pasadena, CA). Arizona is attacking corners a lot, so this is one to watch. I"ll hopefully be able to talk to him soon and get more info.
Had a good time at the university of Arizona today #BEARDOWN pic.twitter.com/Y2yoMYeJtO— Dorsett Manning (@dorsett_manning) March 27, 2016
Manning is just barely going to be a sophomore at Arcadia High School, playing defensive end and tackle. His freshman year highlights are below.
amazing unofficial yesterday at U of A @CoachRodAZ @dewstony1 @AZ_Matty_ @CSing57 thank you pic.twitter.com/tDe4LeFPOt— Warren Jackson (@WideOutNation18) March 22, 2016
Jackson is another Bishop Alemany prospect, this time a 3-star receiver out of the 2017 class. He's 6'5" 185lbs, and the exact kind of target Arizona is looking for at wide receiver. He doesn't have a whole lot of great offers, including Colorado, Hawaii and Oregon State. This could be a good thing for Arizona.
UofA showed us some love on our visit #beardown⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/r4IzPPeQHD— ⛽️⚡️Jayy⚡ (@JustinnXII) March 26, 2016
A wide receiver/corner for Arizona coming into the 2017 class. His highlights are below.
Arizona Unofficial Visit #BearDown ⬇️ @prowaytraining @bonnefootball pic.twitter.com/w9wnksT4Ln— JChat♛ (@Jchatman17) March 26, 2016
Chatman is a quarterback out of Narbonne High School who is set to graduate in 2018. He was the starter on their team this past season, leading them to the CIF State Championship with Sean Riley and Devaughn Cooper. His highlights are below.