With the commitment of Ka’Deem Carey on Friday, the Wildcats have essentially put a wall up around Tucson to keep recruits home. The past three years the Wildcats have offered six local players and five have chosen to stay.
Only Sabino’s Keanu Nelson chose to play elsewhere and he could hardly be faulted for choosing a Stanford education. The other five, Adam Hall, Jake Fischer, Josh Robbins, Carey and Jacob Arzouman, all stayed home.
By my count, Stoops has offered 15 local players and 11 have decided to become Wildcats. Of the four he has lost out on, one was already committed to Notre Dame when Stoops got the job and one never played a down of D-I college football.
To be fair, the Wildcats would have offered Cienega’s Zach Davila, but the offensive lineman committed to Utah before the Cats could extend an offer.
While keeping local talent home is nice, it is hardly enough to build a program. Of the 11 players who stayed home, only one, Brooks Reed, has played at an All-Conference level. Two, Daniel Borg and Glyndon Bolasky, had their careers cut short. Only Reed, Borg and Brandon Lopez were starters, although both Hall and Fischer have a chance to start this year.
It must also be noted, that the best player of the bunch, Salpointe’s Kris O’Dowd, chose USC, although the Trojans offered Hall and might still get involved with Carey if his grades are good enough.
Another good piece of news is that the Wildcats have not lost a local player to ASU under Stoops. The Sun Devils have just one scholarship player from Tucson, Santa Rita receiver J.J. Holiday, and the Cats never offered him a scholarship.
While all of this is great, the fact is, Stoops has to recruit more than the Tucson Area. Keeping the top local players home is big, but not as big as getting top talent out of Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas.