Rich Rodriguez addresses the media on Friday at Sony Studies in Culver City, Calif. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
CULVER CITY, Calif. — The Arizona Wildcats had 25 committed recruits as of Aug. 12 last year, and this could be another year in which the class is nearly complete before the season begins.
“Unofficial visits are now more important than official visits,” coach Rich Rodriguez said at Pac-12 Media Day on Friday. “That’s when kids are making their minds up.”
Arizona has 14 committed players — the most in the Pac-12 — and several of those are coming in this weekend for their official visits, which means the school pays for the trips.
Unofficial visits — paid for by the recruit’s family — typically occur earlier in the recruiting cycle at the players’ convenience.
That helps the school to put together big recruiting weekends — with unofficial visits or official visits — such as the one this weekend as the program opens up the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility to prospects for the first time Saturday. The football program moved in last week.
“I think the timing worked out great,” Rodriguez said.
“We had over 30 guys RSVP us, and they are all ‘offer’ guys. So I’m expecting a big night for us. We want to show it off. We showed them a lot of pictures, but they haven’t seen it in person.
“Plus, any time we get a guy on campus, it gives us a shot because they get to know us a little bit.”