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Arizona football recruiting: The final push to National Signing Day

The staff will look to hold this class together

NCAA Football: Arizona at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

There are two weeks until National Signing Day, when Rich Rodriguez and his staff can finally solidify the 2017 recruiting class. The class currently holds 25 commitments and is ranked No. 36 in the nation.

Arizona’s decommitments

Arizona’s class has been getting picked apart by bigger schools and I don’t think anyone can really blame these kids for looking into bigger and better schools, mainly Oklahoma, Oregon, USC, and Washington.

Four-star corner Greg Johnson started the big wave after Donté Williams left for Nebraska. The coaching change also affected Delshawn Phillips, flipping him to Illinois after some long talks with Lovie Smith.

Four-star quarterback Braxton Burmeister and three-star receiver Darrian McNeal left after picking up Oregon offers.

There was a feeling that three-star defensive tackle Austin Faoliu would leave once things picked up with Arizona State and Washington State. Little did we know that he would go on to land offers from Michigan State, Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas, which led to his to decommitment.

The staff backed off two-star mid-year enrollee Elijah Watson after he violated team rules at IMG Academy. They also backed off three-star mid-year enrollee defensive end Matt Leo, who blew up with big time Big 12 and SEC offers, but opted for Iowa State.

Three-star defensive end Bryce Brand was one guy I had pegged as a potential decommit candidate, and he ended up bolting to Maryland with his brother, who is walking on as a quarterback after he decommitted from Air Force.

A lot of the Wildcats’ “bigger targets” — many of whom where higher end three-star and four-star guys — just seem to be on track to go to bigger programs. The staff has been evaluating the talent correctly, the problem has just been trying to keep it in place.

Recent commitments

Arizona has made up a bit of ground over the last month despite losing some of their key pieces. The staff has secured five commitments in the last 35 days or so, keeping this class filled with depth.

Tony Wallace was the first of the group, a two-star corner who has since picked up offers to Oregon and USC, the latter being his dream school. I think there’s still a good chance he flips to USC, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he sticks with Arizona.

Arizona also landed a surprise commitment from unranked linebacker Jose Ramirez out of Auburndale, Florida. Previously committed to South Alabama, the staff flipped him. He is already enrolled and on campus.

An expected commitment from three-star linebacker Colin Schooler came next, who ended his recruitment despite hearing from Oregon and Utah late in the process.

Another expected commitment from kicker Lucas Havrisik out of Norco, California.

The staff has recently added another extremely unexpected commitment from 6-foot-4, 225-pound three-star defensive end My-King Johnson out of Tempe. He had committed to UCLA on January 6.

Remaining targets

There isn’t a whole lot out there that I know of in terms of Arizona’s legitimate targets, and the lack of 2017 offers during this dead period could say this class is coming to a close. There are really only two more guys I could see committing, although no one saw Ramirez or My-King Johnson coming either. Arizona also landed Jalen Cochran and Chacho Ulloa just a few days before National Signing Day last year.

Anthony Pandy

This seems like the next commitment for Arizona barring any other late movements. Coming off an official visit to Tucson, the three-star linebacker holds offers to Boise State and Washington State. An Oregon offer could make things interesting, but that doesn’t seem too likely since they’ll probably land Isaac Slade-Matautia.

Travell Harris

The two-star wide receiver based out of Florida pretty much has Arizona, Florida Atlantic, Toledo, and Washington State in his final list of schools. I think there’s a good shot that he does sign with Arizona, but this is a recruitment where there truly is no leader and all four are probably on equal footing.