UA FOOTBALL

Arizona football: Pushing hard for recruits

RichRod woos Sabino duo, other stars with his all-fours approach
2013-07-14T00:00:00Z Arizona football: Pushing hard for recruitsDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When it comes to recruiting, college coaches - even the most famous ones - must stand out to land top-notch prospects.

Rich Rodriguez does push-ups.

"We'll be doing drills and he'll drop in and start doing push-ups with us," Sabino High School offensive tackle Andrew Mike said of the Arizona Wildcats' second-year coach. "He brings it to a whole different level.

"He's the only head coach I've ever seen do that."

Soon enough, Rodriguez will know if his physical conditioning has paid off. Mike, a four-star recruit with more than a dozen scholarship offers, told the Star on Saturday he'd like to make a commitment by the end of the month.

Mike, rated as the 14th-best offensive tackle prospect in the country by the Scout.com recruiting service, said he'll pick between the UA, Arizona State, Vanderbilt and Washington.

Of his four finalists, Mike said: "I like that Arizona is the hometown school and like being here with the people I've grown up with. They're a program on the rise and play that fast-paced offense that is becoming real popular in college football.

"With ASU, it feels similar to UA because it's in the home state. Vanderbilt and Washington are both highly accredited schools with academics that will benefit me past my football career."

Mike isn't the only Sabino standout the Wildcats are aggressively recruiting. Matt Bushman, a three-star tight end, is also down to four schools, according to Sabercats coach Jay Campos. He will pick from among Arizona, Duke, BYU and Utah.

Both Mike and Bushman have been impressed by the Wildcats' recruiting approach.

"They're both looking hard at Arizona," Campos said. "It's not a done deal by any means, but they are both definitely taking a hard look there."

The Wildcats will host a red carpet opening of the new Lowell Stevens Football Facility on July 27; there, coaches will try to woo some of their top priorities.

Here are five other players the Wildcats are going hard after:

1. Natrell Curtis

Position: Offensive guard.

Hometown (high school): Phoenix (Mountain Pointe High School).

Ranking: Scout ranks Curtis as a four-star recruit and the eighth-best offensive guard prospect in the country.

Lowdown: The UA has been recruiting Curtis the hardest recently, he told Scout. The lineman said he wants to end his recruitment soon: He visited Tucson last month and raved about his trip.

Also considering: Curtis has close to 20 offers. UCLA and Arizona seem to be the schools to beat right now.

2 and 3. Jamardre Cobb and Marquis Ware

Positions: Both play outside linebacker.

Hometown (high school): Los Angeles (Salesian High School).

Ranking: Like Curtis, Cobb and Ware are both four-star recruits. Scout has Cobb as the 12th-best OLB in the nation and Ware as the 16th.

Lowdown: The two linebackers have made no secret they're a package deal. Cobb recently told Scout they'd like to cut their list of schools down to five and that Arizona and Oklahoma will "for sure make the cut." The UA has already received a commitment for 2014 from another Salesian player, cornerback Rodney Carr.

Also considering: The Sooners seem to be the biggest competition for the UA in this battle. Other Pac-12 schools that have offered Cobb scholarships include Stanford, California, Colorado and Washington State.

4. Brandon Dawkins

Position: Quarterback.

Hometown (high school): Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian High School.

Ranking: Dawkins is a three-star recruit and ranked as the 23rd-best signal-caller by Scout.

Lowdown: A bigger QB (listed at 6-feet-4 inches and 215 pounds), Dawkins has been on the national radar for a couple of years after throwing for more than 2,800 yards and 30 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011 for one of the country's premier programs.

Also considering: Dawkins doesn't have an Ohio State offer yet, but visited there last month and is hoping to get one. He does have offers from North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Hawaii and Utah, on top of the UA.

5. Sharif Williams

Position: Defensive tackle.

Hometown (high school): Fresno, Calif. (Central High School).

Ranking: Williams is ranked as a three-star recruit and the 46th-best defensive tackle in the country.

Lowdown: The UA already has commitments from two of Williams' high school teammates in three-star safety Devon Brewer and four-star running back Nick Wilson. Williams recently told Scout that "Arizona is the school that I'm most interested in right now."

Also considering: Fresno State, Houston, San Jose State and San Diego State have also offered, but the UA seems to be in the lead.

On StarNet: Keep up with Arizona football recruiting news and any other offseason activity on reporter Daniel Berk's blog at azstarnet.com/berk Prepare for the upcoming Pac-12 season with reporter Patrick Finley's 12 Pac-12 stars to watch at azstarnet.com/gallery

Five more to watch

Besides OT Andrew Mike, TE Matt Bushman, OG Natrell Curtis, LB Jamardre Cobb, LB Marquis Ware, QB Brandon Dawkins and DT Sharif Williams, UA likes:

Name Position School Scout.com ranking

Jalen Brown WR Phoenix Mountain Pointe Four stars

Kaelin Deboskie WR Salpointe Catholic Two stars

Matt Dickerson DE San Mateo (Calif.) Junipero Serra Three stars

Trevor Wood TE Scottsdale Chaparral Three stars

Tyler Whiley CB Chaparral Four stars

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 South football standings

Team W L T PCT
Arizona 5 1 0 0.833
Utah 5 1 0 0.833
USC 5 2 0 0.714
ASU 5 1 0 0.833
UCLA 5 2 0 0.714
Colorado 3 4 0 0.429

Pac-12 North football standings

Team W L T PCT
Oregon 7 1 0 0.875
Oregon State 4 2 0 0.667
Stanford 4 3 0 0.571
Washington 5 2 0 0.714
Washington State 2 5 0 0.286
Cal 4 4 0 0.500
Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily


Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Deals, offers & events

View more...