Elijah Rushing’s long-awaited commitment is here. The top player in Arizona in the class of 2024 and the No. 8 overall recruit in 247 Sports’ rankings announced on Thursday he is committing to the University of Arizona.
The 6-foot-5, 251-pound EDGE had a final four of Arizona, Oregon, Notre Dame and Tennesse and close to 40 reported offers.
BREAKING: 5⭐️ EDGE Elijah Rushing has committed to Arizona 🏈
Rushing chose the Wildcats over Oregon, Notre Dame and Tennessee and becomes Arizona's highest ranked commit ever. pic.twitter.com/fnUntaOUVF
— 247Sports (@247Sports) July 6, 2023
Elijah says that staying close to home, his older brother playing for the Wildcats and the love for his community were all factors that led him to stay in Tucson.
“It is a chance to give back to the place that has shaped me, both as an athlete and as an individual. Family is everything to me and the opportunity to play alongside my older brother at the collegiate level is a blessing beyond words.”
This is a massive recruiting win for Jedd Fisch and his coaching staff. The Wildcats have recruited well at the prep ranks and in the transfer portal, and this further proves the work Arizona has put in. His commitment from the Stevens Strength and Conditioning Center aired live on 247sports, where he read a statement to his future coaching staff, teammates and Wildcat fans.
“I am humbled and honored to join your brotherhood. I understand the responsibility that comes with wearing a Wildcat jersey and I promise to approach every practice, game and moment with steadfast dedication and passion. I am committed to giving my all, pushing my limits and contributing to the success of our team. Together we will leave our mark on the football field and continue the proud tradition of the Arizona Wildcats.”
The Wildcats have revamped their offense under Fisch, and adding high-level talent on the defensive side has been a priority this offseason. Justin Flowe and Bill Norton help in the present, and the message that the Wildcats can land a player like Rushing will certainly help in the future.
The quality and quantity of highly-talented football players in Arizona has exploded over the decade, and this is the biggest in-state recruit to stay home than perhaps N’Keal Harry and Chase Lucas when they committed to ASU in 2016.
Additionally, there have been 12 five-star recruits according to 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings to come from Arizona in the 21st century. ASU tight end Zach Miller (2004) and Rushing are the only two to commit to the in-state schools.
Elijah Rushing Next In A Long Line of Lancers
Rushing has been on prep and college radars since he first stepped on foot the varsity field as a freshman. Over the course of three years, Rushing tallied 161 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss and 19 sacks according to MaxPreps.
Rushing is the latest of elite Salpointe Catholic players to go to top-flight programs. Bijan Robinson set records with the Lancers as a running back before a decorated career at the University of Texas. He was the No. 8 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.
Lathan Ransom was not only a ball-hawking safety but a wide receiver while at Salpointe and is currently a part of one of the nation’s best secondaries at Ohio State.
Bruno Fina saw his recruitment explode before committing to UCLA. The offensive lineman has served a reserve lineman for the Bruins. Jonah Miller was also one of the dominant offensive lineman in the class of 2021 before committing to Oregon. He has transferred to junior college before finding his next Division I destination.
“The legacy of Salpointe has always been generations of hard workers and discipline. And that’s from team to team, we have always been disciplined,” Elijah said. “I mean there’s always notable players going through there. We’re hard-working kids that want to prove we can play anyone in the state. I know Phoenix is on a huge pedestal and we’re this city down below but we’re going to come up there and prove our point. It’s not only Phoenix, there’s lots of us coming out of Tucson.”
Elijah also gets to reunite with his older brother Cruz Rushing, who played at Salpointe Catholic with him before walking on at Florida. He has since transferred to Arizona and was put on scholarship by the Wildcats. Elijah’s says that Cruz was a huge influence on his recruitment.
“Our bond as brothers extends way beyond the football field. We have supported and pushed each other from day one. Now, we have the chance to continue that journey together. We will not only represent our family name but inspire others to chase their dreams relentlessly.”