The Arizona Wildcats are off to a great start for their 2017 recruiting class. There are currently six commitments, which ranks the Wildcats inside the top 30. You would need a scholarship calculator to actually count up the amount of scholarships available for this upcoming class, but you could guess that there are around 20 guys they're looking to sign when all is said and done.
The staff has been traveling across the country. Arizona, California, Michigan, Florida, Texas, you name it. They've been active with the offers and it's still too early to see who has legitimate interest after receiving their offer in the last few weeks.
Still, there are plenty of guys on the board that I believe have a great chance of ending up at Arizona. James Casillas wanted to know who is likely next to commit, so here's my crystal ball prediction for some of Arizona's targets.
@Gabe_Encinas haven't heard much about recruiting lately who's the next players you think will commit— James casillas (@casillas_james) April 24, 2016
His decision date is set for his birthday, June 23rd. He's taken many visits to Stanford and UCLA and there is a Calabasas movement going on at Nebraska. Still, this new defensive staff has been able to work on Holmes, trying to get him to play across from his older brother, Darick Holmes.
Arizona has a better shot than the predicted 9% on 247. And as of now I believe that Nebraska currently leads in his recruitment. There's something going on in Lincoln, where they're holding a top 20 recruiting class, including two of Holmes' four-star teammates at Calabasas.
There's still plenty of time for Holmes to make his way to Tucson for a couple of unofficial visits before his decision date. To land the No. 8 recruit in the nation would be huge for Arizona, but the Wildcats are still in the running for quite a handful of four-star corners that I will mention below.
To answer the main question above, if there's going to be a commitment soon, it's going to be Chris Brooks. He's one of the top running backs in the west and he will complete the running back situation for the 2017 class, with Nathan Tilford in as the first back.
Brooks is taking his time throughout the process, but it would be a shock to see him go elsewhere like Washington State.
This is a pretty intriguing recruitment here. A recent decommitment from USC opened things up, but he says there is still a chance that he could end up back at USC. He says that Arizona, Notre Dame and UCLA will be his official visits. But he recently picked up an offer from Oregon and I feel like they could make a serious run.
Much like Holmes, Arizona has a better chance than most people think. He has a great relationship with Donté Williams, and Marcel Yates was the first guy to offer Graham back when he was still at Boise State.
Bryce Gilbert would be a huge in-state pick up for Arizona and I like where U of A stands. Arizona was his first offer and he has been on campus quite a few times now. Since the Wildcats offered him, his recruitment blew up and he's been picking up offers left and right. He's an upper mid-tier three-star prospect who would likely be a four-star prospect if he played in Los Angeles.
My way-too-early prediction for Gilbert would be Arizona for now, but certainly things could change. Arizona State also seems to be up there in the mix.
When you think about commitments that are bound to happen, Drew Dixon is one. The local Tucson product will wait for the commitment, taking in as much information as possible during the process, but Arizona is in great position.
Another in-state product here with Jalen Harris. He's blown up since Arizona handed him his first offer. His family ties help, being the son of former Desert Swarm linebacker Sean Harris. This is another guy who is going to take his time in the process, which could hurt Arizona if he continues to pick up big time offers, but I'd say Arizona is the leader.
Arizona is working on bringing in a big fish here with Joseph Lewis, a top 10 player in the 2017 class. He hails from Hawkins, the same high school as corner commit Greg Johnson. Hawkins has a great relationship with this new staff. But where Arizona's chances really kick in is the fact that Lewis and Johnson want to play together at the next level, growing up as childhood friends.
It's going to be hard to pull Lewis away from virtually every program in the country, but the staff was able to pull it off with Michael Eletise, and there's a lot of hype surrounding this class, which helps the efforts of landing Lewis. Still, this is an uphill battle.
Arizona is in the market for two running backs in this recruiting class, with one in Nathan Tilford already locked up. Chris Brooks seems to be the next likely commitment, which means Kibodi could miss out, unless Arizona decides to move one to receiver, which is very well possible. Kibodi said that Arizona is at the top of his list, extremely fond of the spread offense. His high school has a great relationship with Calvin Magee and he has been in communication with Orlando Bradford and Shun Brown. Depending on his timing, this could be an interesting recruitment.
Arizona is in good shape to land this highly-talented four-star linebacker. I don't think I can say Arizona is in strong contention to be the leader right now, but they're in pretty good shape. The staff has been able to recruit guys out of Hawaii, including Michael Eletise, who is also from Kaiser.
I'm fairly convinced that Arizona will land another four-star corner to pair along with Greg Johnson. As of now, I'd say Elijah Blades is that guy. He's been in love with Florida and the pro potential they offer him, and will take an unofficial visit later this summer before he decides. The current recruiting class will help get him to Tucson, specifically guys like Bryce Wolma and Kurtis Brown.
Elijah Hicks told me not too long ago that Arizona was high on his list. His father grew up in the Tucson area and he's had a great relationship with Donté Williams throughout his recruitment process from his days at San Jose State. He's an upper 3-star recruit that will have a handful of offers, but he's someone who could definitely end up at Arizona.
It seems as if Thompson is going to take his time with his recruitment process, but he likes what Arizona has to offer so far. Miguel Reveles, Kylan Butler and Donté Williams are on his recruitment. He has half of the Pac-12 knocking on his door, which will be hard to compete with, but he likes that his high school has a lot of kids that feed into Arizona.
It seems as if Scottie Young wants to end his recruitment process fairly soon and I'd be a little shocked if he didn't end up at Arizona. He has a great connection with the Los Angeles-area recruits and Young tends to send out numerous tweets showing his favoritism towards Arizona, now it just seems like a matter of time.
Arizona is going to be losing a big group of guys at receiver after this season, making it necessary to snag a few wide receivers. Rich Rodriguez has pulled in a few here and there in each class, also moving guys like Shun Brown and Cam Denson to play wideout. Samajie Grant, Nate Phillips and Trey Griffey are going to be hard to replace, but landing guys in this class at receiver is critical. Coming from Louisiana he told me he likes the pipeline that Arizona has been able to build and that location/distance to home will not play a factor. Currently waiting to hear from Arkansas, Miss State and Vanderbilt, this is a decision that could take some time.
Casteel is another wide receiver prospect that will be high on the board. I feel better about Arizona landing Casteel over Singleton. Wide receivers are a must in this class and the staff has been offering quite a few. The Los Angeles conneciton will also help in the efforts to land Casteel.
Jordan is a Los Angeles product that has some high interest in Arizona. Nevada is currently his only offer, so that bodes well for the Wildcats. Still no offer from Arizona, but that's something he is certainly waiting on. Ranked 79th among all defensive ends, this might be a bit of a reach, but he has all of his senior year to move up.
An extremely talented wide receiver prospect who made his way to Tucson for an unofficial visit this spring. He's a former Ohio State commit and has offers from across the nation. Despite that, he's giving every school an honest look. He had a great relationship with Braxton Burmesiter and while that won't completely sway his decision, it certainly could be a factor. He said his Arizona visit was the best at the time and he met with Coach Rod Smith to give him a run down of the offense and how he can be used, which he really enjoyed. I think Florida leads here, but Arizona is still in the hunt.
Robert Porcher IV
A big defensive end who has told me that Arizona is "most definitely up there". He's good friends with Bruce Judson, who told him that an official visit is a must. Louisville and Virginia Tech are on his recruitment but he wants to do a lot of research before he decides, waiting to make his decision.
Johnson was offered during junior day a few weeks ago and this is a recruitment to watch out for. He's currently unranked, but that will change in the coming months. I have not yet spoken to him, but the fact that Arizona is his first power five offer, with UNLV and Nevada also in the mix, is a good sign. Coincidentally, Arizona State sent him out on offer on Tuesday. He's a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end that Arizona could really use, but the scholarship numbers for the defensive line need to add up for this to be possible.