Six weeks after Rich Rodriguez was hired by the Arizona Wildcats, he got his first verbal commitment.
Temecula, Calif., linebacker C.J. Dozier made an impact right away, playing in nine of 13 games as a true freshman and posting a team-high 15 tackles in Arizona’s New Mexico Bowl victory.
If it always worked like that, recruiting would be easy.
But, it doesn’t.
For every Dozier, there’s a Leo Thomas. The safety committed to the Wildcats a week before signing day in 2012. He left the team after four days of practice.
Recruiting can be a fickle process.
But in his 14-plus months on the job, Rodriguez and his staff has made a mark on the recruiting trail.
“They have had a big impact on the Pac-12 and West coast recruiting in general,” said Brandon Huffman, a national analyst for the Scout.com recruiting service. “Mike Stoops did not give California the attention it deserved and Rodriguez has rectified that.”
National signing day is Wednesday, and the Wildcats currently have 26 commitments. Scout ranks their class 24th in the country and sixth in the Pac-12.
Get a closer look at the class and Rodriguez’s strong recruiting start in Sunday's Arizona Daily Star.