Rodriguez Expresses Frustration with Landing In-State Recruits

Signing Day 2016 has come and passed and the Arizona Wildcats introduced 15 players to their program. The class consists of just three players from Arizona. Justin Holt from Salpointe in Tucson is a legacy and was the Wildcats’ first in-state commit for 2016, wide receiver Shawn Poindexter is a JUCO transfer from Glendale Community College and Centennial high school before that and offensive tackle Keenan Walker was formally introduced to the program after taking a medical greyshirt last season.

Scout.com has five players in this class that is rated in their national top 300 who are from the Phoenix area, none of which going to Arizona. The five include Saguaro’s Byron Murphy, Chandler’s N’Keal Harry and Chase Lucas, Brophy’s Connor Murphy and Hamilton’s Garrett Rand. The Wildcats missed on top prospects from 2014 and 2013 as well when both Christian Kirk and Kyle Allen chose Texas A&M (Allen has since transferred to Houston).

“All the best players in the state of Arizona ought to come to Arizona,” Coach Rod said during his Signing Day press conference on Wednesday. “We’re still going to recruit them. I get frustrated, can you tell? Because a lot of them are telling us no. But we are getting some to visit. I just think they all should come.”

Rodriguez mentioned with what Arizona has to offer, there is no reason that they should not get at least a look from every great prospect that hails from this state.

“If you are a Pac-12 level player and we’ve got an interest in you, if you are in the Phoenix area or wherever you are in the state, why not come take a look at us?” he explained. “We’ve got everything you’d want. The weather, the facilities, the program, academics so it’s frustrating when some won’t even visit. But that’s their choice.”

As mentioned, Keenan Allen will officially be a part of the program starting in 2016 after coming off of an ACL injury after graduating in 2015. He was the second highest rated prospect in the state behind Kirk in 2015 according to Scout.com. But the numbers overall which he has received from the city of Phoenix specifically have not been there. That however will not stop Coach Rod from his recruiting in this state and in Phoenix in particular.

“We are still going to recruit them,” Rodriguez stated. “I tell everyone I am still going to make them tell me no. I am never going to stop recruiting the state of Arizona first. But you cant force them to come. I just wish some more of them would look at Tucson and look at U of A. I think they would be pretty impressed if they gave us a shot.”

A born and bred Arizonan, Jared has had great passion for the hometown teams all his life. He now channel's that passion into covering the pro, college and high school teams around the state as a Multimedia Reporter for Sports360AZ.