That's the million dollar question. Both Rodriguez and Graham are working to close those borders and keep the best in-state prospects in state. Rodriguez's sell right now is to look at some of the best in the past like Neal and Brewer and see how they're coming back to Arizona to play at the UA after not succeeding out of state. But I think the biggest thing that can be done to keep players in-state is winning on a regular basis and contending for championships. It needs to be a situation where Arizona kids dream of playing for the UA and ASU and don't feel like they're settling.
It wasn't a huge surprise, but was still a good get for the Wildcats. I think the UA felt good about where it stood with Griffin and would have been more surprised if he would have ended up at one of his other three finalists. But it was a good way to end the class for the UA, who need some big bodies on that defensive line.
Thanks! Mike was offered a scholarship very early by the UA coaches. I do think he was sincerely interested in Arizona, but he wanted to take his time with the recruiting process and play out his senior season. The UA prefers to get guys in early and not wait it out. Neither is wrong, but the philosophies are certainly a lot different.
That's a tough one. After watching the two go head-to-head in the state championship game in Arizona Stadium, I have a few thoughts. Whiley looks more ready to contribute right away. He looks more like Ka'Deem Carey did as a high school senior. He has more weight to him and has less work to do in the weight room. That said, Denson outplayed Whiley in that game and it wasn't close. Denson picked off a pass intended for Whiley. So it'll be interesting to see how it plays out the next four years with those two. I think they'll see plenty of each other.
Another good one. The UA has a bit of different philosophy when it comes to recruiting. RR wants Dudek to be the face of recruiting for the staff. He allows him to do pretty much whatever he wants. The goal is the player becomes extremely comfortable with Dudek first and then RR and the position coaches come in to really put down the sales pitch. But nearly every recruit I talked to talked about the positive impact Dudek had on his recruitment. That said, Rodriguez realizes he needs to be more vocal than he has been. A major reason is he has the personality to do it. He always has one or two funny lines in his press conference and plays that role very well. So I'm sure even Dudek wants RR to show that off more. A couple of the assistants, mainly Rod Smith and Charlie Ragle, are decently active on Twitter. I think you'll see the interaction continue to rise going forward.
It's really hard to predict who the guy will be next year, because there's still much to happen. I think the coaches were pleased with the progress both Brewer and Solomon made last year and they're excited about some of the tools Randall brings. If I had to say there's a leading candidate, based on some conversations I've had with UA coaches, I'd say it's Solomon. But there's a lot he has to do to lock down the position between now and the UNLV opener.
He definitely should be. Both receiving and returning kicks. They are very excited about him.
I have to duck out a few minutes early. Thanks so much for stopping by today. We'll do this again soon.