Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has called the 2017 recruiting class potentially the “best ever” for the Wildcats. Coming off a rough 3-9 campaign, the Wildcats need all the help they can get. Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt is previewing Arizona’s recruits in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 national signing day. All ratings according to Scout.com.
Name: Nathan Tilford
Position: Running back
Height: 6 feet 2 inches
Weight: 215 pounds
Hometown (high school): Ontario, California (Colony).
Rating: Four stars, No. 284 overall, No. 24 athlete, No. 4 in West, No. 2 in California
Other offers: USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Nebraska, Arizona State, Michigan
2016 stats: 2,031 rushing yards, 30 touchdowns, 25 receptions, 601 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns, 1 punt return touchdown
Who he is: Tilford is one of the more talented running backs in the 2017 class. He’s a big back with athleticism who dominated in high school.
How he fits: The Wildcats are desperate for running backs after injuries decimated the position last year, and Tilford will help right away as an early enrollee. J.J. Taylor and Nick Wilson are recovering from season-ending injuries, likely opening the door for Tilford to get reps in spring ball.
He said it: “The area I’ve probably improved in most, I’d have to say my vision and my decision-making. There would be some times where I’d decide to do something that I shouldn’t do. I’d run to one side of the field, then there wouldn’t be anything, and then I’d turn around and go all the way back and try to get a couple yards. Now I started learning that even if there’s nothing there, just keep moving your feet and eventually something is gonna happen. If there’s nothing there, at least you picked up a couple yards instead of wasting all your energy going back to the other side of the field.” — Tilford
Here are Tilford's junior year highlights from when he played at Upland. Can't find a senior year package.