Arizona football recruiting: Wildcats rolling under Rich Rodriguez

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Rodriguez and his staff are doing a nice job landing talent from California and their home state. It's led to a top-20 class.

Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona coaching staff have wasted no time hitting the recruiting trail since taking over in Tucson nearly 18 months ago. With the Pac-12 looking as strong as it has in years, it is imperative the staff continues bringing in talent to keep the Wildcats competitive out west.

According to the 247Sports composite rankings, UA has the 19th-best recruiting class for 2014 right now. Part of that is due to 24 players already being committed, though there is certainly some quality among the quantity. As for the rest of the Pac-12, only No. 18 Stanford has a better class. Arizona State, ranked 36th, is the only other Pac-12 school ranked in the top 40 at the moment. Oregon is waiting in the wings at No. 45.

With only a few scholarships open, the commitments have really slowed down over the past month or so. The last two players to commit were blue chippers, though, by way of Marquis Ware and Jamardre Cobb on Aug. 21. Teammates out of Bishop Mora Salesian (Calif.) High School, Ware and Cobb are four-star prospects who will likely play linebacker in Tucson. Ware will likely be more of a coverage guy in Arizona's 3-3-5 stack defensive scheme, while Cobb is more of a prototypical middle linebacker to stuff the run.

The jewel of Rodriguez's class is a local Tucson product. Cameron Denson, a four-star athlete who will likely play wide receiver or cornerback in college, possesses incredible speed and shiftiness in the open field. He committed to UA in January despite receiving interest from Alabama, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and a handful of other schools.

On offense, Nick Wilson is a four-star running back out of Southern California. Wilson is regarded as the 14th-best running back in the 2014 class and could see early playing time with Arizona likely losing its top two running backs after this season. Darrell Cloy and Trevor Wood are considered to be two of the better tight ends in the class. Brandon Dawkins, a three-star dual-threat quarterback out of Thousand Oaks (Calif.) High School, is the lone QB committed.

Arizona also hit the junior college ranks to bolster its defense, landing commitments from linebacker Antonio Smothers of Scottsdale Community College and Jamie Byrd, a safety out of Iowa Western Community College.

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