Heading into the final stretch of a disappointing 3-9 season, Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez and former athletic director Greg Byrne sold fans on the idea of the 2017 recruiting class being a huge reason for optimism.
Just over two months removed from that, that optimism has mostly disappeared.
According to 247Sports Composite, which takes into account all major recruiting services’ rankings, Arizona placed 45th in the national recruiting rankings this year, and 10th in the Pac-12.
Only Oregon State and Cal were lower.
USA Today took a different approach, taking Arizona’s class ranking on the major sites, then averaging those numbers and comparing it to other schools. This resulted in the Wildcats being 43rd nationally. Those numbers say that Rivals has UA 36th overall, and Scout has them 46th. ESPN is credited with a 41st, but actually has Arizona 45th as well.
The 23 member class took multiple hits after the end of the regular season, with several of those coming at the hands of the new Oregon coaching staff. The Ducks ended up with the 20th-best class in the nation according to 247.
It is concerning that Arizona has what is considered the worst recruiting class in the Pac-12 South. You need players that can win in your division, and it’s unclear if UA has brought in those guys, especially when it failed to sign a single offensive lineman.
Here’s how Arizona has ranked in the Rich Rodriguez era:
- 2013 - 44th
- 2014 - 30th
- 2015 - 43rd
- 2016 - 50th
So the best year under RichRod came after the highest ranked recruiting class he’s had in Tucson. Strange how that works.