NCF On The Trail: Arizona Wildcats

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

January, 27, 2015
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It was a busy weekend in the conference, as 14 prospects made commitments between Friday and Monday night and several others backed out of Pac-12 recruiting classes. It looks as though this could be a sign of things to come, as the conference recruiting race is heating up with little more than a week until signing day.

Pac-12 recruiting class breakdowns

January, 26, 2015
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Here's a look at how programs in the Pac-12 are faring on the recruiting trail heading into national signing day on Feb. 4.

Arizona

Commitments: 28

ESPN 300 commitments: 1

Who they have: The Wildcats hit it big with their top two commitments in ESPN 300 offensive tackle Keenan Walker and ESPN JC 50 defensive tackle Anthony Fotu. Arizona also will add four-star tackle Cody Creason, three-star tackle Harper Sherman and three-star guards Alex Kosinski and Nathan Eldrige to the offensive line. There are a number of skill players on both sides of the ball, including running backs Orlando Bradford and Darick Holmes Jr., cornerbacks Shun Brown, Anthony Mariscal, Samuel Morrison and Dane Cruikshank, wide receiver Cedric Peterson and athletes Antonio Parks and Brion Anduze.

Who they want: There aren't many spots left in this class for the Wildcats, but there are a few important names left on the board. The wide receiver spot could see another addition with Jaylinn Hawkins, though rival Arizona State will put up a fight there. Arizona also will look to continue its run of success in Louisiana, as teammates Arthur McGinnis and Darrell Clark (New Orleans/Warren Easton) are two of the top prospects left for the Wildcats, as well as teammates of Arizona commit Kendal Franklin.



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Best of the visits: Pac-12

January, 18, 2015
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The first weekend back from the recruiting dead period saw dozens of prospects taking official visits to Pac-12 campuses. While programs such as Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State all put together solid weekends, no program’s recruits (and parents) were better about documenting the events than Stanford’s, where Big Visit Weekend seemed to go over extremely well with everybody in attendance.

Here is a look through the eyes of recruits on social media at this weekend’s Pac-12 recruiting visits.

Big visit weekend at Stanford

Everything is better when you start off with dessert, and defensive tackle Ross Donelly probably agrees with that sentiment after being welcomed to his visit by two Stanford cupcakes.


From there, the visit got a little more interesting for the recruits. The parents of offensive line commits Brian Chaffin and Nick Wilson snapped shots of their sons hitting the road.


Later, Chaffin summed up the first day of the visit, while fellow commit Mustafa Branch provided some visual proof.


Stanford also made sure to introduce prospects to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has become a recruiting staple for the Cardinal. After his cupcakes, Donelly, a four-star uncommitted prospect, made sure to snap a quick photo.


Of course, no official visit anywhere would be complete without the gear, shown here by defensive tackle commit Wes Annan ...


Or the bling, worn here by ESPN 300 running back target Bryce Love.


And at least one Stanford commit received some especially good news during the trip, as wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside announced.


And Nick Wilson’s father provided one final look at the committed prospects who took their official visits to Stanford over the weekend.

Utah lands another juco prospect

The Utes had several intriguing visitors on campus for official visits and came away with another junior college wide receiver commitment, bringing their total to three juco receivers in this class. Deniko Carter made the call during this visit, and he joins Kyle Fulks and Brandon Snell.

Arizona’s final push

There aren’t many spots left in Arizona’s recruiting class, but the Wildcats are hoping they can finish things off with a couple of teammates in three-star outside linebacker Arthur McGinnis and wide receiver Darrell Clark.

Trojans host stars

USC was scheduled to have nearly every one of its commitments on hand this weekend, as five early enrollees are already there and 10 commitments were taking official visits. But three huge uncommitted prospects were slated to be in attendance as well, in defensive tackle Rasheem Green, inside linebacker John Houston and athlete Porter Gustin. Here is Green, along with defensive line coach Chris Wilson and his son, Caleb Wilson.

Visitors to Oregon State

Oregon State coaches have been furiously trying to rebuild the Beavers class after several formerly committed prospects flipped following the departure of Mike Riley. This weekend, Oregon State welcomed a number of visitors, including some position help in the secondary, in cornerback Jay Irvine and safety Treston Decoud.

Future Dawgs

Washington had several official visitors on campus, including wide receiver commit Andre Baccellia and tight end Ricky McCoy, who apparently hit it off with big-time Washington target Benning Potoa’e, who is down to the Huskies and UCLA, and will likely make his decision shortly following this trip.

UCLA looks at 2016

The Bruins had a number of 2016 prospects on campus, as UCLA coaches look to get a head start on next year’s class while finishing this one off strong. One of those in attendance was Camilo Eifler, an outside linebacker who already holds Pac-12 offers from Cal, Colorado, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington.

ASU’s sweet finish

It only makes sense to bookend this post with dessert, and uncommitted safety Kareem Orr provided a shot of his welcome gift from Arizona State. The Sun Devils will need to fend off Clemson, Oklahoma and others to land Orr, but they hope he is part of what could be a huge finish to this class for Arizona State.

Top recruiting targets in the Pac-12 

January, 16, 2015
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With a little more than two weeks before signing day, a number of uncommitted prospects remain who could greatly alter both the college football landscape as well as the way recruiting classes are perceived on Feb. 4. Remaining “must get” recruits don’t check all the same boxes for every program, as some schools already have commitments from their must gets (for example, Arizona with Keenan Walker, or UCLA with Josh Rosen) and some of these prospects won’t exactly break a class if they don’t wind up there. But whether it’s keeping a local prospect at home, landing a five-star standout or filling a position of need, these are the uncommitted must-get recruits for every Pac-12 program between now and signing day.


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The tug of war for supremacy in the state of Arizona continues, as it was the Arizona Wildcats' turn this year to supplant the Arizona State Sun Devils as participants from the Pac-12 South in the conference title game. With so much attention being paid to the quick turnaround Todd Graham has been able to perform in Tempe, Rich Rodriguez’s accomplishments in Tucson have flown under the radar. After already securing the program's third 10-win season, Rodriguez and the Wildcats have an opportunity to make another statement against Boise State in the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday before looking to replace some impact seniors with an already strong 2015 recruiting class.


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Another wild week in Pac-12 

December, 19, 2014
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The Pac-12 and the West region are capable of producing some wild weeks during the lead-up to signing day, with so many prospects in the area waiting until that day to make their commitment and rivals going after so many of the same prospects.


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Top 2015 juco classes 

December, 3, 2014
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National signing day is quickly approaching, but first up is the mid-year junior college signing period. The opportunity for junior college prospects to sign with FBS schools starts Dec. 17, and many prospects have already made commitments. With the release of the ESPN Junior College 50, let’s take a look at five programs (in alphabetical order) having success in the junior college ranks.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

December, 2, 2014
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Rivalry weekend in the Pac-12 meant big official visit weekends for a number of conference teams, while two junior college prospects announced their commitments to Pac-12 programs on Sunday night. The Pac-12 will also witness more than a few assistant coaching changes this offseason -- no different than any other year, or any other conference -- and those moves could bring with them some significant movement among committed and uncommitted recruits.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 30, 2014
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From USC’s bounce-back win over Notre Dame, to a Territorial Cup victory, to a big visitor list on the Palouse, recruits were in attendance at the Pac-12’s rivalry games this past weekend and shared their experiences through social media.

Trojans' time to shine

After suffering a significant defeat at the Rose Bowl last weekend, as UCLA took control of Los Angeles in front of dozens of local recruits, USC needed a big performance against Notre Dame on Saturday. Five out-of-state official visitors were in attendance, along with a number of local unofficial visitors from the 2015 and 2016 classes.

Defensive tackle Tim Settle, the nation’s No. 17 prospect, made his way across the country and provided his view of the Staples Center from his hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
The Trojans also received official visits from No. 171 prospect Donte Jackson and No. 94 prospect Osa Masina, who arrived in Los Angeles along with his family. There was a strong Utah presence at the game, as ESPN 300 athlete Porter Gustin was scheduled to be in attendance on an unofficial visit, and 2016 wide receiver Simi Fehoko -- who already holds offers from Clemson and Utah and could wind up as one of the state's most highly recruited prospects next year -- tweeted that he was in attendance as well. Of course, it wouldn't be a USC game without ESPN 300 quarterback, and USC commit, Ricky Town on hand. Town was joined by fellow ESPN 300 prospect and Trojans commitment Chuma Edoga, along with 2016 ESPN 300 prospects Frank Martin II and Javon McKinley in this photo. Martin II and McKinley will be interesting prospects to keep an eye on for next season, as both put together tremendous junior seasons and have been reeling in offers. Martin already holds offers from Arkansas, LSU, Miami and Syracuse, nationally, along with several Pac-12 offers. McKinley is part of a terrific 2016 class of receivers in California, and holds offers from Arizona State, Cal, UCLA and Washington State. While an offer from USC might not finish the recruiting process for either, it could prove to be big down the line.

The Trojans also hosted ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown on an unofficial visit. St. Brown is looking hard at Notre Dame and Utah, as well as USC. Cats get Territorial

Arizona will begin to put together more significant official visit weekends after the season, but the Wildcats had several unofficial visitors on hand for their biggest game of the season -- a rivalry game that clinched a spot in the conference championship game.

Offensive tackle Keenan Walker, the No. 48 prospect in the country and an Arizona commitment, was at the game and took a moment to send a simple message to the in-state rival.

Ducks win the war

Oregon walked away with a win in the Civil War, but Oregon State hopes it did enough during the weekend to sway several important official visitors. In addition to committed quarterback James Pensyl, the Beavers hosted four-star running back Paul Lucas, three-star defensive tackle Benning Potoae and three-star wide receiver Lavan Alston on official visits. All four, along with several other visitors are featured in this tweet from Pensyl. Cougars with another big visit weekend

Washington State's season hasn't gone exactly the way the Cougars envisioned at the beginning of the year, but that hasn't stopped them from bringing in some big name official visitors during the season.

This past weekend, the Cougars had another ESPN 300 prospect on campus, as defensive tackle Adam McLean, a former Penn State commitment and the nation's No. 90 overall prospect, took his official visit.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 25, 2014
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While there were a number of important visitors at every Pac-12 game this past weekend, the Rose Bowl took center stage as UCLA hosted a number of official and unofficial visitors in what was the hottest ticket of the year for Southern California recruits. UCLA kicked off its strong weekend with a commitment from an ESPN 300 prospect, while Oregon hosted a junior college standout committed to another Pac-12 program. This upcoming weekend presents an opportunity for recruiting statements to be made in rivalry games.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 16, 2014
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It was a very light week in the Pac-12, both on the schedule and the visitor lists. But as usual, the three Saturday games in the conference delivered in a big way, with a game-winning field goal, a defensive show that needed overtime and an upset of the No. 6 team in the country. While there weren't any reported official visitors in the conference, a number of unofficial visitors caught the action and shared it via social media.

Stanford's struggles

Stanford's offense continued to struggle this year, as the Cardinal dropped their final home game of the season, in an overtime battle against Utah. Part of the reason for that has been the lack of a dominant ground game -- something the Cardinal are looking to rectify in this recruiting class by loading up at the running back position. In town this weekend on an unofficial visit was ESPN 300 tailback Bryce Love, who has taken official visits to Tennessee and Virginia Tech this season, but has long been a Stanford target.


Stanford also received an unofficial visit from 2016 ESPN 300 wide receiver Brandon Burton, who already holds offers from programs such as Florida, Florida State, Stanford, UCLA and USC.

Oregon State's thriller

Junior quarterback Kevin Davidson has been on several Pac-12 trips this season, visiting Colorado and Washington previously. He picked a good time to take his visit to Oregon State, as he was able to witness the Beavers' thrilling victory against Arizona State.


Also in attendance was 2016 offensive guard Conner Crist, who holds interest from a number of Pac-12 programs.

Arizona stays alive

With a game-winning field goal against Washington, Arizona kept its season going on the right track. Though the Wildcats didn't host any official visitors, there were several recruits on hand for that game. Athlete Brion Anduze, who made the trip down from Washington, likely riled up a few of his friends that are Husky fans with his tweet early last week.


Of course, he also didn't have any problems reminding them of whose side he was on during the game.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

November, 14, 2014
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With only three Pac-12 games on Saturday, this could be the lightest visitor weekend between now and signing day. In fact, it could be a weekend without a single official visitor hitting a Pac-12 campus. But that doesn’t mean Pac-12 fans won’t have anything to keep an eye on this weekend. A number of conference targets are headed out on trips and we take a look at a few names to watch.

[+] EnlargeJohn Houston Jr.
Tom Hauck for Student SportsJohn Houston Jr., who visits Miami this weekend, has already visited Oregon and heads to USC for a visit soon.
LB John Houston and DT Rasheem Green -- The ESPN 300 teammates are taking official visit to Miami this weekend, which might be the only program capable of luring either standout defender away from the Pac-12. Both visited Oregon earlier in this season and Houston will take his official visit to Arizona State next weekend. Green remains a high priority for Stanford, UCLA and USC as well, and said he will use official visits to both Los Angeles programs. Houston said UCLA hasn’t been in contact recently, but he will take an official visit to USC for its game against Notre Dame.

ATH Ykili Ross -- The nation’s No. 281 prospect will take his first official visit -- to Notre Dame -- this weekend. Ross recently unveiled his top 12 programs and the Pac-12 is heavily represented, with Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, Utah and Washington all making the cut. While Ross appears to be leaning toward USC, a great official visit to Notre Dame has changed things in a hurry for Southern California athletes before. Ross has also said he will take an official visit to USC after his season is over.

QB Devon Modster -- Arizona missed out on quarterbacks in the 2015 class and lost an early commitment from 2016 ESPN 300 signal-caller Shea Patterson, but the Wildcats threw their hat back in the ring by extending Modster his first offer two months ago. It’s likely only a matter of time before more schools jump into the mix, but Modster will be in Arizona this weekend, checking out both the Wildcats and Sun Devils.

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Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Central receiver Terrell Chatman committed to Miami early on, but that hasn’t stopped other schools from coming after him. His teammate, Kevin Henry, is working hard to ensure he’ll end up at Oklahoma State.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 9, 2014
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Arizona State dominated the Pac-12 visitor list this weekend, as the Sun Devils hosted four ESPN 300 prospects on official visits and received unofficial visits from at least three 2016 ESPN 300 prospects. Elsewhere, Utah hosted a significant official visitor in ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and both Arizona and Washington had several California prospects in town.

Sun Devil statement

Arizona State saw everything go right during its biggest recruiting weekend of the season. ESPN 300 prospects Christian Kirk, Brady White, Trent Irwin, Zach Robertson and Porter Gustin were all in attendance to see the Sun Devils put together a big win against Notre Dame.

White has been committed to the Sun Devils for months and is putting in some serious effort to recruit the other four ESPN 300 prospects -- all uncommitted. He has an especially close relationship with Irwin, his high school teammate and good friend.
Kirk is as much of a local celebrity as it gets with hometown recruits, as he has been the top recruiting target for Arizona State and Sun Devils fans alike since his sophomore year. His highly anticipated official visit took place this weekend, and surely Arizona State did everything it could to make an impression. Safety D.J. Morgan, wide receiver Dylan Crawford and outside linebacker Bryce Youngquist -- all 2016 ESPN 300 prospects -- made the trip to Tempe over the weekend and all were impressed by what they saw. The big win might have planted the seeds for a significant 2016 recruiting haul for the Sun Devils. Also in attendance was Arizona State offensive tackle commit Mason Walter. St. Brown visits Utah

While Utah came up short on the scoreboard against Oregon, the game atmosphere in Salt Lake City looked to be impressive as always. And that's a good thing, considering ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was on his official visit. While the trip to Utah was seen a while ago as somewhat superfluous, considering St. Brown appeared down to Notre Dame, Stanford and USC as his serious options, the Utes at this point shouldn't be considered out of this at all, as the coaches have done a great job recruiting the talented receiver. Utah also had several committed recruits on hand, including linebacker Cody Barton and 2016 athlete Kahi Neves. A Wildcat win

Arizona kept pace in the Pac-12 South with a home win over Colorado. And while Arizona State boasted the lion's share of impact visitors this weekend, the Wildcats had a few of their own.

Arizona tight end commit Jamie Nunley made the trip out from California, and apparently had a chance to spend some time with head coach Rich Rodriguez on the sideline. Huskies host two California juniors

Washington suffered a tough loss to UCLA, but was able to bring at least two 2016 California prospects up to Seattle for the game, in running back Sean McGrew and quarterback Kevin Davidson. While McGrew has Cal and UCLA out front in his recruitment, the trip to Washington shows he's still giving the Huskies a look. And though Davidson is still looking for his first offer, he's been in serious contact with Pac-12 programs such as Cal, Colorado and Washington.
Oregon is still working hard on its 2015, but that hasn't stopped the Ducks from landing quality 2016 targets like receiver Dillon Mitchell. Plus, why is Branden Bowen important to both Ohio State and Utah's 2015 class?

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