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Arizona football recruiting: Ranking updates, future commitments and powerhouse programs

Another recruiting roundup for a busy week ahead


The Arizona Wildcats have a busy week ahead of them on the recruiting trail, with two commitment dates that both favor Arizona. The class currently has 19 commitments thus far, solidified at 12th in the nation according to 247Sports’ composite ranking, which was just recently updated, bumping up quite a few prospects.

Ranking adjustments

Tony Fields received a pretty decent bump after all four recruiting services finally ranked him and he’s pretty close to the top 500. Kurtis Brown received one of the largest updates. He was once ranked 955th in the nation, but is now sitting at 750th overall.

Kylan Wilborn, Scott young, Drew Dixon, Edgar Burrola and Rhett Rodriguez also received some considerable bumps. Meanwhile, Bryce Gilbert dropped just a tad. Also, Elijah Watson is just about a one hundredth decimal point away from being ranked as a composite 3-star.

Still, keep in mind that early recruiting rankings, especially for 3-stars, are extremely rough. Compare these to a preseason college football poll.

Commitments elsewhere

We’ll first start with Elijah Blades. I was extremely confident that he was headed to Arizona. That was because I had received word that he had been a silent commit since he came away from his trip to Florida. Now he's a Gator.

Next is Maurice Bell. With the class filling up so fast, he essentially lost his spot. Arizona is looking to add some size at wide receiver right now, hence the Warren Jackson commitment. I had Bell going to Michigan after his visit, but they didn’t even make his top three either, so Colorado it was for Bell.

Upcoming Arizona commitments

The first is Rhedi Short, who has his decision date set for July 3rd. I was really thinking that he was going to Oregon, but many Duck insiders have told me they were kind of laying off.

I was then able to speak with him on the phone and he didn’t give me much, although he did say that Arizona, Oregon and Penn State were his top three. He has now released a top five which also includes Arizona State and California. I don’t feel 100% confident that he will come to Arizona, but that’s where my Crystal Ball pick is for now. He did mention that he talks to Greg Johnson quite a bit and he’s a guy who is likely to close the deal for Arizona.

Cody Shear is the next commitment watch with a July 5th decision date. He has Arizona, Oregon State and Washington State as his top three. I get a good a feeling about Arizona, as he’s kept me in the loop throughout his entire recruitment.

He likes Washington State because of the air raid offense. Arizona is in the mix due to his strong connection to Coach Jim Michalczik and the blue collar toughness of the line. Meanwhile, Oregon State is close to home and a program he believes in.

Warren Jackson commitment

If you were keeping up, you knew that Jackson was one to commit soon. Now with 19 commitments it makes the class pretty tight on scholarship numbers, particularly at wide receiver after now landing five pass catchers.

With only so many spots open, Arizona is likely to save those spots for the big names: Joseph Lewis, KJ Hamler or Bruce Judson. Despite upcoming unofficial visits, I’d be fairly shocked if Arizona is able to pull in Darrian McNeal or Bryan Thompson.

Future of the class

So to elaborate a little more, these are the remaining targets that Arizona would likely be going all in for to round out the class:

  • Receivers Joseph Lewis, KJ Hamler and Bruce Judson.
  • Corners Jaylon Johnson and Jaylon Redd.
  • Defensive linemen Odua Isibor and Jalen Harris.
  • Offensive linemen Tucker Robertson and Cody Shear.
  • And then of course any newcomers throughout the season.

I’m very interested to see how Isaac Slade-Matautia stands with all of this and how heavily the staff is pursuing him right now. Remember that trio of Florida boys: Nick Smith, Robert Porcher and Bruce Judson? I think Smith is UNC bound and Porcher is off to Nebraska, so that leaves two defensive pieces out of the equation now.

Chris Brooks update

With so many commitments and Brooks’ later timeline to commit, I figured that he missed his spot. But he has announced that he will be deciding by the end of July and tells me that Arizona is still his leader.

He also says that Oregon and USC are in the mix, but feels like the Ducks are going to offer him before his commitment date, trumping all schools.

This will be interesting to watch. The staff is still talking to him twice a week which is a good amount.

Reader Questions

From my understanding, Watson’s high school is a bottom feeder in the highest division of Georgia high school football. So he’s going up against some of the best competition in the South with some not-so-great talent around him. With that being said, it’s probably pretty hard to rank him, so it’s up to the scouting reports now.

This is a really good question. By no means is this class filled with All-Pac-12 candidates, but there is a lot of quality depth and versatility that Arizona is landing.

There’s also a big difference in the schools that they’re recruiting out of. They have commitments from Bishop Gorman, IMG Academy, Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly, arguably four of the top 20 programs in the nation. Bishop Gorman is currently preseason ranked 3rd in the nation, IMG Academy 4th and Mater Dei 6th, so that should tell you a bit about the impact those guys have on their team.

To actually answer the question, I think these guys coming in are going to be a lot better. Before, Arizona was landing some lower-tier 3-star guys, now the Wildcats are starting to land some solid 3-star guys, and by the end of the recruiting cycle, a lot of them will be closer to the top 500.