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Arizona football recruiting: Updates on Elijah Watson, Tony Fields and Darrian McNeal

Just some quick updates on a few committed folks, as well as more projections

UCLA v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Recruiting hasn’t really slowed down for the Arizona Wildcats this summer, but in this recruiting roundup, there are just some small updates that happened throughout the week. Most of the updates this week are focused on Arizona’s current commits and what’s been going on with them.

If you missed my last one, I answered a bunch of your questions, most of them concerning the 24 commitments of the class. I also caught up with 4-star corner Thomas Graham, who I think Arizona will close on for this 2017 class.

Onto the updates:

3-star defensive tackle Elijah Watson transfers to IMG Academy

IMG Academy is arguably the best high school football program in the nation. Those kids get sent off to power five schools left and right, many of which are four-star talents.

While Elijah Watson’s former high school, Mountain View, was projected to make the playoffs this year, IMG Academy will be extremely beneficial for him. He will have the opportunity to go up against some of the best competition everyday in practice, plus he’ll receive top-notch coaching. You can expect his ranking to skyrocket as well, as he’s already a high-end 2-star prospect.

At 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, he has a solid chance of contributing as a freshman. He tells me that it was a major factor when deciding to transfer.

While catching up with Watson, he also told me that he doesn’t think Bryce Brand will be going to IMG for his final season. That’s something that I will look into.

3-star athlete commit Tony Fields picks up Cal offer

Fields is one of my favorite prospects of the class. Checking in at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, he will bring a lot of versatility, which is the theme of this class. Currently ranked 559th in the nation, I think Fields is a candidate to reach 4-star status, cracking the top 400.

He’s someone that can absolutely blow up during his senior season, but I wouldn’t be concerned about him leaving Arizona’s recruiting class.

Darrian McNeal is strong

The 5-foot-9, 160 pound wide receiver commit can bench 300 pounds. That’s some Samajie Grant stuff right there.

New defensive end mid-year enrollee?

With the departure of Josh Allen, a guy who had three years of eligibility, I would expect the staff to make a run at another mid-year enrollee on the defensive line.

Rich Rodriguez has talked about how complicated it is to actually get junior college transfers simply because of the transferable credits and the issues that can arise.

Rest assured, Hunter Echols, the 4-star defensive end that I’ve mentioned recently, is a mid-year enrollee. I continue to hear positive things about Echols and Arizona.

But there has to be a few other guys that Arizona might go after to make up for the lost depth, which includes Anthony Fotu leaving the program as well.

There are some guys that Arizona can still heavily pursue. As of now, I really don’t have a strong gauge as to how U of A is doing with any of these guys except for Echols. The rest I have not spoken to or asked about for some time, but this could be a short list for Arizona.

3-star defensive end Matt Leo out of Arizona Western is a nice JuCo option, checking in at 6-foot-6, 265 pounds. 3-star in-state end Odua Isibor is a guy who could end up at Arizona, but I’ve heard that Stanford is a potential favorite.

3-star Nebraska commit Robert Porcher had some interest in Arizona prior to his commitment. 3-star end Jacob Callier out of St. John Boscoe could be an option, but I recall seeing ASU as a high choice for him.

3-star end J’Bril Glaze is a guy I spoke to a while ago and he thought very highly of Arizona. And then there’s unranked end Tyler O’Neil, I spoke to him after the Josh Allen decommitment and will have more on him shortly.

Official visit plans for Elijah Blades

The more time that passes, the more I think Elijah Blades sticks with his Florida commitment. Although, there’s a new school that has come into his recruitment and that is USC. If Blades does happen to decommit, it might just be for the Trojans.

He plans to take five official visits: Florida, Utah, USC, Nebraska and Illinois. Arizona is left out, but I still think he’s likely to come to Tucson for an unofficial visit. Although, as I mention above, despite his connections to the coaching staff and current commits, I don’t think he’s a guy who would flip to the Wildcats.

Expect Thomas Graham to be that 4-star corner that Donte’ Williams reels in.

Bruce Judson commits to USF

The saga has finally come to an end. Bruce Judson has committed to USF. While I felt like Arizona still could have taken him prior to the commitments of Troy Brown and Delshawn Phillips, I think McNeal ultimately closed that door to Arizona.

I was told that Florida would not take his commitment, leaving it up to Pitt and USF, with Pitt bound to land multiple running backs who will probably end up being better than Judson. It would have been nice to have Judson in this class, building a Florida pipeline as well, but he’s been dropping in the rankings and hasn’t picked up many big offers for a reason, so I’d say it really isn’t a loss for Arizona.

Projected finish for Arizona

Just a quick recap as to how I project this class to fall in line. While we’re still extremely far away from National Signing Day, leaving room for a lot of change, this is what I feel comfortable projecting for Arizona.

  • 5-star receiver Joseph Lewis
  • 4-star corner Thomas Graham
  • 4-star defensive end Hunter Echols
  • 3-star defensive end Jalen Harris

Guys who still remain strongly in the mix

  • 4-star linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia
  • 3-star offensive tackle Ryan Nelson
  • 3-star offensive tackle Jonathan Nathaniel
  • 3-star offensive tackle Tucker Robertson
  • 3-star defensive end Odua Isibor

2017 early enrollees

I get a lot of questions about who will be enrolling early at Arizona. Here’s a list of all that we know thus far. There are a few uncommitted guys that Arizona is still recruiting that will be planning to enroll early, including Hunter Echols.

  • Braxton Burmeister
  • Darrian McNeal
  • Delshawn Phillips
  • Tony Fields