The 2017 recruiting class for the Arizona Wildcats has officially made it past summer break and guys are beginning to start their high school football season.
There has been a lot of movement with Arizona’s commitments, whether that may be their school, position, or graduation plans, which I’ll go over quickly.
Nebraska’s wide receiver coach faces third DUI
I've received a lot of questions about Nebraska's latest coaching news, after Keith Williams was charged with his third DUI, this one leading to a crash. The result: a mild four-game suspension.
It is significant to Arizona simply because he is a huge part of the Huskers’ recruiting, specifically with 5-star wide out Joseph Lewis. Lewis was actually on an unofficial visit the weekend that Williams was charged with his latest DUI.
I still think it comes down to Arizona and Nebraska for Lewis, with USC also never out of it, but as more time passes, the better I feel about this one.
Greg Johnson is playing a huge role in recruiting Lewis, as the two have dreamed about playing together in college since middle school. Notre Dame might be the biggest threat to flipping Johnson, but I believe him when says he is 100% committed to Arizona.
Bryce Brand transfers from IMG
When Elijah Watson announced that he was transferring to IMG Academy, I learned that Bryce Brand was no longer going to be attending IMG. Now it appears as if he has transferred to Clayton Valley Charter (Concord, CA).
The school is ranked 29th in the state of California and 257th in the nation. His reason for transferring is unknown, but it’s not something anyone should worry about in terms of academics, transcripts, etc.
He’ll go up against Helix High and Arizona safety commit Scott Young on September 3rd.
Darrian McNeal switches from quarterback to wide receiver
UA landed a commitment from one of the fastest guys in Florida this summer, Darrian McNeal, who leads the seventh-ranked team in the nation.
Last season, he was the quarterback. Now, he’s switching to wide receiver, which is where his future will be at Arizona. This is a guy who is going to make plays as long as he has the ball in his hands.
Elijah Watson has a strong IMG Academy debut
The IMG Academy transfer had himself a nice night in his debut, coming up with back-to-back sacks in the 4th quarter to secure a win for his team. Simply being at IMG Academy will elevate his recruiting ranking to 3-stars.
His family also tells me that he will be graduating in December, joining Arizona in the spring.
Mid-year enrollees for Arizona
With Watson now being a mid-year enrollee, this gives the Wildcats even more flexibility for the 2017 class. So far there are six prospects who will join Arizona in the spring, which means it could easily be in line for 30 prospects in this class, with the very real option of Rhett Rodriguez coming off scholarship as well.
- Braxton Burmeister
- Tony Fields
- Matt Leo
- Darrian McNeal
- Delshawn Phillips
- Elijah Watson
4-star receiver Bryan Thompson still has Arizona high on his list
The 4-star receiver had an interview with Scout, and had great things to say about Arizona. I’ve had a feeling he could go Boise State or Oregon for quite some time though.
As I mentioned above, I feel pretty good about Arizona securing Joseph Lewis, which would give U of A a ton of talent at wide receiver in this class, without even mentioning Thompson.
However, if Arizona were to take Thompson and Lewis — should that situation happen — I’d be curious to see how the scholarship numbers line up.
Hypothetically — which I don’t think is very likely — it could bump a receiver like Brian Casteel to gray shirt. I’m not a fan of the gray shirt process, especially the way some coaching staffs handle it, but this is a situation that could happen.