Arizona football recruiting: Cats working in the Midwestby Brad Allis on Feb. 09, 2011, under Arizona Wildcats Football, Sports
With Arizona’s television exposure growing, the Wildcats are branching out into new recruiting territories. Over the past four years the Cats have snagged players from Illinois, New York and Louisiana. While these are hardly hotbeds for the Wildcats, adding to the Arizona/California/Texas base can be vital in taking the team to the next level.
Bill Bedenbaugh was vital in opening up some recruiting ties to the Midwest, particularly Illinois. The Wildcats have signed four Illinois players in the past three recruiting classes and even with Bedenbaugh not at West Virginia, the Wildcats look to continue recruiting the area.
The Wildcats have offered a handful of players from Illinois and are getting some interest in return. Players like OL Jordan Diamond, LB Mikhail Dubose, QB Robert Gregory DT Jaleel Johnson and DE Faith Ekakitie all hold offers and have mentioned at least passing interest in coming out west.
Illinois is not the only midwestern state to have Arizona coaches looking for players. Tim Kish has been recruiting Ohio. Last year the Wildcats made a huge run at defensive back Tamani Carter and this year they have offered a few Buckeye State players, including Cincinnati linebacker Joe Bolden. Bolden likes the idea of the warm weather and the Cats have a shot at the 6-3, 220 pounder.
It is not easy to lure players out West. While the weather is a huge selling point, it can be difficult to compete with the tradition and close proximity of the Big 10 and Notre Dame.
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