Rich Rodriguez’s staff took some big recruiting hits this past offseason, with four of his biggest recruiters leaving for other programs. Three crucial departures had ties to California in Donté Williams, Tony Dews, and Miguel Reveles. Charlie Ragle, who had strong connections in Phoenix, is also no longer with the program.
But with the latest addition of wide receivers coach Theron Aych, Rodriguez will now extend into Texas on the Arizona Wildcats’ recruiting trail.
“Not only do I think he can help our wide receivers but also in recruiting, particularly in the Houston area,” Rodriguez said about his latest addition to the staff.
Baylor, Houston, TCU, Texas A&M, and Texas alone have done exceptional jobs in recruiting the state, and that doesn’t include the surrounding Big XII and SEC schools.
“I think coaches in the past here did a really great job of bringing some Texas guys in and we kind of branched away from it because I thought kids were more interested in the Big XII and SEC than us,” continued Rodriguez. “But I do think there are so many good players in the state of Texas, so many great programs, so many coaches, that we have to get into it.”
Tristan Cooper is the only recruit that Rodriguez has offered and signed out of Texas. He was a two-star prospect out of El Paso, holding offers to Illinois, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Purdue, and UTEP.
“I think in the past there have been some really great players from Texas,” Aych said about the previous Wildcats who jumped from Texas to Arizona. “Nick Foles, (others) come out here at The University of Arizona and have been spectacular. So I think that’s something we want to focus on.”
The Lone Star State has a lot to offer in the world of college of football recruiting. Texas has had the highest number of four and five-star recruits over the last five recruiting cycles.
“With me, I’ve got 15-plus years of Texas ties,” Aych said about his recruiting presence in Texas. “I think that’s an area that Coach Rod felt like he wanted to get back into.”
“You know, I think probably the biggest thing is that there are so many athletes in the state of Texas,” Aych added about his home state. “Obviously compared to other states the population is huge. I’ll probably base out of Houston, which is the third largest city in the country. Just so many players and so many schools.”
Conference USA and UTEP certainly don’t have the resources that the Pac-12 and Arizona can bring to the table, which will help Aych attract some of that Texas talent.
“This brand is easy to sell,” he explained. “We have media coverage, we’re on networks. Kids now are more familiar when they see something on TV, they’re all vision. So I think it’s a brand that can go into SEC country, Big XII country, and have some strength.”
“Now that I’ve been here and got a chance to see the campus and see the town, just the facilities are going to sell themselves. And obviously the culture that’s already here in place. I think a lot of kids from Texas, just from me being around the state for so long, they want to play. So when you have a place that is already established, it’s just a matter of getting those guys out there and getting them familiar with it, bringing families out.”
“Once they see it they will be excited about it.”