Arizona Wildcats football coaches hit the recruiting trail during bye week

Without a game to prepare for this week, Arizona will practice through Thursday and then the players will get a “couple of days off” over the weekend before getting back into the grind for the final five weeks of the season.

Of course, there will be no days off for the coaching staff. Not with the 2023 early signing period just over two months away and future recruiting classes to build on.

AU coach jedd fisch He said he and his staff will attend 28 high school football games on Thursday and Friday, spread between games in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Texas. They will be reviewing all 18 known Wildcats commitments for 2023, one after another. 3-star safety Justin Johnson reopened his draft Monday—as well as the remaining goals for 2023 and those Arizona is pursuing for 2024 and beyond.

“We’re very focused on 23 right now,” Fisch said. “Our position coaches are focused on ’24. I’m going to focus on 23 and 24 a little bit.”

Fisch wouldn’t say which games he would attend, and NCAA rules prohibit him from mentioning recruits until they’ve signed, but he said he prefers to review quarterbacks. Arizona has a commitment from Colorado’s 4-star QB brayden-dorman and has offers for 15 uncommitted 2024 passers, including a 4-star state prospect Demon Williams Jr.whose Chandler Basha faces rival Hamilton on Thursday night.

Arizona has offers to 18 members of those teams, including the 2023 3-star safety genesis smithwho committed to the program in Augustand 2023 3-star wide receiver Tre Spivey. Spivey paid an official visit to the UA in June.

“If we have a school that has a lot of kids available to watch, it’s not a one-player game, I like to do that,” Fisch said. “So certain games that have a lot of prospects are always good. There are certain programs that are very well established in the state that I would like to… just be able to go out and see the good football that happens there. The rest of our coaches will be really recruiting positions, they will be looking at their own positions.”

Arizona signed its highest-ranked recruiting class in at least 15 years for 2022. Six of those players have already started a game this fall, and another nine saw action, something Fisch and his staff can point to when meeting with prospects and their families.

This is especially true on defense, where Arizona appears to have plenty of playing time available. Four current starters are out of eligibility, while others could choose to turn pro, and the overall struggles of that unit this season make massive changes seem inevitable.

“If you’re a defensive player, you have an opportunity to come here and compete and start right away,” Fisch said. “We have a lot of veteran players on the defensive end, so you have an opportunity in that regard to have the same impact that our offensive guys had last offseason. If you look at our game against Washington a year ago, there wasn’t a player who touched the ball against Washington in 2021 who was on the field in 2022.

“We have a top-10 passing team and they’re all young, they’re all young players, so if you’re a draft pick on offense, you want to be part of a team that’s very explosive, that scores. a lot and throws the ball a lot and has a second-year quarterback, unlike most other programs we’re competing against that have senior quarterbacks.”

Fisch said Arizona plans to bring in 16 or 17 “midyear” players, meaning recruits who sign during the initial Dec. 21-23 period or transfers.

“There will be a lot of news again, but it’s okay,” he said.

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