Cameron Denson, right, and Salpointe Catholic High School coach Dennis Bene at a ceremony for the school's players who signed national letters of intent.

Kelly Presnell / Star

When Rich Rodriguez hosted a recruit during his first two seasons at the UA, there was one thing he tried to avoid like the plague.

“We never showed them the game-day locker room (at Arizona Stadium),” Rodriguez said Wednesday, “and we hoped they didn’t ask to see it.”

With the new $72 million Lowell-Stevens Football Facility as the coach’s ace in the hole, Rodriguez wrapped up his 2014 recruiting class without having to worry about hiding any warts.

Combine that with the fact that the coach is preparing for his third season at Arizona, and Rodriguez’s class, which became official on national signing day on Wednesday, is his best yet.

All total, Rodriguez and the Wildcats signed 16 players on Wednesday to go with nine mid-year enrollees already on campus. The class was ranked No. 23 by, No. 28 by and No. 30 by ESPN has the class as the fourth-best in the Pac-12, while Rivals and Scout put it at sixth.

How accurate that turns out to be obviously remains to be seen.

“Obviously every coach in America is pretty excited today,” Rodriguez said. “I think we got a little bit of everything in this recruiting class. I think we met a lot of our needs and some of our wants.

“We think from an impact and talent standpoint, each year our recruiting has gotten better and better.”

The Wildcats didn’t have to go but a couple of miles to find the headliner of the class.

Salpointe Catholic High School star Cameron Denson was one of the 16 to make his commitment to the Wildcats official on Wednesday.

It was a long time coming — the four-star recruit committed to the UA nearly 13 months ago. Rodriguez said Denson will play mostly wide receiver but will also return kicks and could see some time as a third-down cornerback.

“I’ve told him this before, but he was probably the lowest-maintenance high-profiled guy that I’ve ever recruited,” Rodriguez said. “He wasn’t needing attention. He didn’t need people on him the whole time. He just went and played ball and won a state championship. It was a real joy to recruit him and his family.

“Cam was the headliner for us to start with.”

Denson said the coach wants him at as many spring practices as possible to start learning the hand signals.

“It feels good that it’s finally done,” Denson said. “I’ve wanted to sign that paper since last January, but it wasn’t my time.

“I want to win a Pac-12 championship and be on the first team to win a Rose Bowl.”

Luckily for Denson, he’ll have some help.

The UA also received letters of intent from a pair of four-star linebackers and high school teammates in Jamardre Cobb and Marquis Ware out of Salesian High School in Los Angeles.

The duo decided early in their recruitment that they would be a package deal. They turned down offers from schools like Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Nebraska, UCLA and Wisconsin.

Cobb could be a candidate for immediate playing time at middle linebacker. Rodriguez said Ware might play outside linebacker or defensive end, and will be counted on as a pass-rusher early in his career.

“With these guys, you watch film, and 30 seconds into it, you’re like, ‘Wow,’ ” Rodriguez said. “These guys are explosive. Some people tackle, and some people hit and tackle. Cobb and Ware absolutely blow you up. They’ll hit and tackle you.

“After getting to know them after they took the time to visit here, we thought they’d be terrific for the program because they love football so much, and they’re hungry.”

The Wildcats added another four-star defensive player to the mix early Wednesday morning when Bellevue, Wash., product Marcus Griffin committed to the UA. He chose Arizona over Cal, Mississippi State and Washington State during a signing-day ceremony at his school.

He can play both defensive end and tackle for the UA. The 6-foot-3-inch, 292-pound lineman was originally committed to Washington State in November but decommitted and reopened his recruitment.

The Wildcats didn’t get involved until last month but did enough to sign him.

“When he visited a couple of weeks ago, everything else was wrapped up,” Rodriguez said. “We needed more D-linemen. That’s one area we have to continue to build our depth in.”

Rodriguez said the UA could still add a couple of players to the class in the coming weeks.

One is expected to be Salpointe wide receiver Kaelin Deboskie, who committed to Arizona in October.

Deboskie was scheduled to sign Wednesday, but has a transcript issue to resolve first. Deboskie transferred to Salpointe from a school in Texas last January.

“I have to get it fixed and then talk to (the coaches),” Deboskie told the Star.

If Deboskie does sign with the Wildcats, he will be the fourth Arizona high school product in the class, joining 11 recruits from California.

“As far as a true home base, it’s Arizona and California and Southwest Florida,” Rodriguez said. “This class reflects where we’re spending more time.”

Arizona's 2014 football class of recruits

Arizona Wildcats 2014 football recruiting class

* Early enrollee or junior college transfer

Name Position Height/weight Hometown star ranking
Devon Brewer S 6-0/175 Fresno, Calif. Three stars
Rodney Carr CB 5-11/183 Los Angeles Three stars
Darrell Cloy TE 6-3/220 La Habra, Calif. Three stars
Jamardre Cobb LB 6-2/215 Los Angeles Four stars
Jerod Cody* DL 6-2/280 Las Vegas Two stars
Brandon Dawkins QB 6-4/215 Westlake Village, Calif. Three stars
Kaelin Deboskie WR 5-9/165 Tucson Three stars
Cameron Denson WR 6-1/165 Tucson Four stars
Tony Ellison WR 6-1/175 Granite Bay, Calif. Three stars
Layth Friekh OT 6-5/260 Peoria Three stars
Patrick Glover* CB 6-2/212 New Orleans Two stars
Marcus Griffin DL 6-3/296 Bellevue, Wash. Four stars
Jonathan Haden* RB 5-8/190 Upper Marlboro, Md. Three stars
T.J. Johnson* WR 5-8/165 Cape Coral, Fla. Three stars
Kaige Lawrence* OL 6-4/280 Victorville, Calif. Two stars
Kwesi Mashack CB 5-10/182 Murrieta, Calif. Three stars
Jordan Poland OT 6-8/335 La Jolla, Calif. Three stars
Jerrard Randall* QB 6-1/190 Hollywood, Fla. Three stars
Antonio Smothers* LB 6-2/237 Chicago Three stars
Levi Walton OT 6-6/275 N. Fort Myers, Fla. Two stars
Marquis Ware LB/DE 6-2/210 Los Angeles Four stars
Jace Whittaker WR 5-9/150 Oceanside, Calif. Three stars
Nick Wilson RB 5-11/195 Fresno, Calif. Four stars
Trevor Wood TE 6-5/235 Scottsdale Three stars
Jeff Worthy* DL 6-3/290 La Mirada, Calif. Three stars

Where the recruiting services ranked Arizona's class

Arizona Wildcats 2014 football recruiting class rankings

Field 1 Field 2 Field 3 Field 4
Scouting website National rank Pac-12 rank Highest rated recruit 30 6 WR Cameron Denson (No.71) 28 6 OT Jordan Poland (No. 141) 23 4 LB Marquis Ware (No. 125) 31 6 OT Layth Friekh (No. 168)

Star reporter Chuck Constantino contributed to this report.

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