Wildcats get “a little bit of everything” with 2014 class

The Arizona Wildcats have completed Signing Day or as they call it, “Our Kind of Guy Day” for 2014 with 25 scholarship players being added to their program. The class consists of players from what head coach Rich Rodriguez their main base of Arizona, California and Southwest Florida, as well as many other areas of the country sprinkled in.

“I think we got a little bit of everything with this recruiting class,” Rodriguez said on Wednesday. “We filled a lot of our needs and some of our wants.”

“We think from an impact and a talent stand point, each year has gotten better and better,” he added. “Through a lot of hard work from our staff, our new facility has helped, and I think the higher profile that we are in as a league and as an institution has helped.”

The last time the Wildcats brought in a nationally heralded recruit from their own backyard in Tucson was eventual All-American Ka’Deem Carey.  There is almost as much buzz surrounding Salpointe star Cameron Denson who was the first player to commit and one of the faces of this 2014 class.

“He was probably the lowest maintenance high profile guy I’ve ever recruited,” said Rodriguez. “He’s a local kid of course. We’ve developed a good relationship with him. But he wasn’t needing attention, didn’t always need people on him, he just went and played ball…He’ll play offense at first at the receiver position, he’ll return kicks and there is probably a chance he plays some defense too in our SWAT team defense.”

The top ranked Wildcat signee of the 2014 class according to Scout.com is defensive tackle out of Bellevue High School in Washington, Marcus Griffin. The 6-3 292 pounder didn’t originally commit to the Wildcats, but was someone Rodriguez and his staff kept in contact with for quite some time. In the end, that communication paid off.

“When he came for his official visit a couple weeks ago, he was the only guy on his official visit,” explained Rodriguez. “So he got a lot of attention but I feel he got a good feel from us…We needed more D-Lineman. That’s one area where we need to continue to add depth at but he’s a big athletic guy who will help us.”

Along with Griffin, the Wildcats added a lot of talent on defense from three more players who all come from Bishop Mora Salesian High School. Those include defensive back Rodney Carr and linebackers Jamardre Codd and Marquis Ware who all expect to make a big impact for the Wildcats and also make a big statement for Rich Rodriguez’s program in Southern California.

One position however that Rodriguez seemed very excited about were the players he added on the offensive line. He added five players on the line which include heralded in-state tackle from Centennial High School, tackle Layth Friekh and a 6-8, 335 pound tackle from La Jolla, CA, Jordan Poland.

“For us, we are unique when it comes to our O-Lineman,” Rodriguez mentioned. “Some people will declare them as he’s a tackle, he’s a guard, he’s a center. For us, it’s almost all five are the same dudes…For these guys that we signed, eventually they will be able to play multiple positions so that we can have a little bit more depth than normal systems.”

Finally, the big question offensively surrounding the Wildcat offense is who will replace the great Ka’Deem Carey. Initially, there are players on the roster currently that will look to fill those big shoes. Rodriguez mentioned that Carey ran harder than any running back he has college football for ten years, but likes what he is getting from the running backs in this class. Especially Nick Wilson from Fresno, CA.

“I think it’s a compliment but I also think it is unfair to compare anyone to Ka’Deem Carey,” Rodriguez said. “But Nick is talented and he does run hard so we will see what he can do.”

Below is the full list of the official 2014 recruiting class:

Devon Brewer, Cornerback | 6-0, 170

Fresno, Calif. | Central HS


Rodney Carr, Defensive Back | 6-0, 183

Los Angeles, Calif. | Bishop Mora Salesian HS


Darrell Cloy, Tight End | 6-3, 220

Pico Rivera, Calif. | La Habra HS


Jamardre Cobb, Linebacker | 6-2, 215

Harbor City, Calif. | Bishop Mora Salesian HS


Jerod Cody, Defensive Line | 6-2, 280

Las Vegas, Nev. | Glendale C.C./Centennial HS


Brandon Dawkins, Quarterback | 6-4, 2-5

Oxnard, Calif. | Oaks Christian HS


Cam Denson, Receiver | 6-1, 170

Tucson, Ariz. | Salpointe Catholic HS


Tony Ellison, Receiver | 5-11, 158

Granite Bay, Calif. | Granite Bay HS


Layth Friekh, Offensive Line | 6-6, 260

Glendale, Ariz. | Centennial HS


Patrick Glover, Cornerback | 6-2, 212

New Orleans, La. | Scottsdale C.C./Mountain View HS (Ariz.)


Marcus Griffin, Defensive Line | 6-3, 296

Bellevue, Wash. | Bellevue HS


Jonathan Haden, Running Back | 5-8, 190

Upper Marlboro, Md. | Friendship Collegiate Academy


T.J. Johnson, Receiver | 5-8, 165

Cape Coral, Fla. | Milford Academy/Island Coast HS


Kaige Lawrence, Offensive Line | 6-4, 280

Victorville, Calif. | Chaffey College/Chadron State/Silverado HS


Kwesi Mashack, Cornerback | 5-10, 185

Corona, Calif. | Vista Murrieta HS


Jordan Poland, Offensive Line | 6-8, 340

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. | La Jolla Country Da


Jerrard Randall, Quarterback | 6-1, 190

Hollywood, Fla. | Northeast Mississippi C.C./LSU/Chaminade-Madonna HS


Antonio Smothers, Linebacker | 6-2, 237

Chicago, Ill. | Scottsdale C.C./West HS (Gary, Ind.)


Freddie Tagaloa, Offensive Lineman | 6-8, 330

Richmond, Calif. | California/Salesian HS


Levi Walton, Offensive Line | 6-3, 270

North Fort Myers, Fla. | Ida S. Baker HS


Marquis Ware, Linebacker | 6-2, 210

Bellflower, Calif. | Bishop Mora Salesian HS


Jace Whittaker, Defensive Back | 6-0, 170

Oceanside, Calif. | Oceanside HS


Nick Wilson, Running back | 5-10, 195

Fresno, Calif. | Central HS


Trevor Wood, Tight End | 6-6, 240

Scottsdale, Ariz. | Chaparral HS


Jeff Worthy, Defensive Lineman | 6-3, 290

La Mirada, Calif. | Santa Ana College/Boise State/Whittier Christian HS

In addition, according to various reports, the following are Arizona high school players who will join the Wildcats as preferred walk-ons or as a grey shirt scholarship addition:

J.R. Hunt, Saftey (Grey shirt)

Chandler, Arizona | Chandler HS


Spencer Marciniak, Wide Receiver

Scottsdale, Ariz. | Horizon HS


Austin Pauley, Offenive Tackle

Gilbert, Ariz. | Perry HS


Brandon Rutt, Linebacker

Chandler, Ariz. | Basha HS


Tre Tyler, Linebacker

Gilbert, Ariz. | Highland HS