Kevin Sumlin and his staff are all in on the state of Texas. That shouldn’t come as a surprise; Sumlin spent the bulk of his career coaching in Houston, College Station, Texas, and Norman, Oklahoma.
It’s relatively new ground for Arizona, at least this decade. Former coach Rich Rodriguez did not mine the robust Texas recruiting market until the end of his tenure, a strategic error that contributed to some of the Wildcats’ personnel deficiencies.
Rodriguez grabbed four Texans in his final recruiting class; Sumlin doubled that total in his first.
To help learn a little more about those players, we reached out to Gabe Brooks, the Midlands Region recruiting analyst for 247Sports. Brooks’ coverage area includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
How big a deal was it for Arizona to land Boobie Curry and Bobby Wolfe, and what will they bring to the table?
A: “I think it is significant. These are both potential impact players down the road for Arizona. Wolfe has great size and length and an almost unmatched swagger at the cornerback spot. Very physical at the line of scrimmage in press coverage. Curry is a big-framed wideout with great production when healthy in high school. He will have a rapport with Grant Gunnell since they're coming from the same high school, and that should help both develop in college.”
What do you make of Arizona’s overall haul of Texas players?
A: “It's a good foundation for what the coaching staff can do on an annual basis in Texas. The state has so many FBS-caliber players, including dozens upon dozens who can play at the Power Five level. Colorado has done a great job signing Texas talent the past couple of years, and you can see what they have in Laviska Shenault Jr. and K.D. Nixon. Those are the types of players Arizona can position itself to get in the future.”
What’s the scouting report on the JC guys the Wildcats got from Texas, Josh Donovan and Trevon Mason?
A: “Donovan was a player I liked a lot coming out of high school. He was going to be one of the top players in North Texas' class at the time before he had to go juco. He has tackle size but has also played a lot of center in the past. That position versatility is always valuable.
“Mason is a really big defensive lineman who was a virtual unknown coming out of high school. His height and size make him scheme-versatile. He seems like he plays with a pretty good motor, which is encouraging for a bigger lineman.”
Is a three-star kid from Texas different from a three-star kid from someplace else? Is there something special about Texas high school football players in general?
A: “There's a general perception that Texas kids may be overdeveloped because of the amount of coaching they get. Realistically, it's a school-by-school basis. But I can see why the perception would be that way.
"Some people believe that Texas kids have a higher floor but a lower ceiling because of the year-round exposure they get to the game. I can see how that may be true in a lot of cases, but I'm not sure I'm ready to make a blanket statement, set in stone, regarding that viewpoint.”