October 26, 2012

Friday rewind: The week in UA recruiting



Last week was a big week for Arizona in more ways than one. Not only did the Wildcats knock off Washington by a big margin - 52-17- but they also had a large number of visitors in attendance as well. This week that number will be even greater as UA welcomes USC into Arizona Stadium for a meeting with the Trojans Saturday afternoon.

There are a mix of visitors expected this weekend, from 2013 commits to 2014 undecided prospects as well as unofficial and official visitors.

Some prospects will be coming back for a second week in a row, but here's a look back at what some of last week's visitors had to say about their trips to Tucson.

UA offensive tackle commit Jacob Alsadek visited Tucson in the spring before making his ultimate decision in the summer. When he took his first unofficial visit he didn't have the chance to meet everybody that he wanted to on staff or watch a game. So last week the San Diego (Calif.) Torrey Pines standout made a return trip and enjoyed himself at his future school.

"Being on the field was cool," Alsadek told GOAZCATS.com this week. "Seeing Matt (Dudek) again was good and seeing coach Rod (Rich Rodriguez) and all the coaches. When I took my unofficial in May I never met coach (Robert) Anae, so it's a little funny. I finally got to meet him and I liked him a lot.

"What everybody says about them is the greatest things, so that was really cool."

Along with meeting some of the other coaches he had not met before, Alsadek was also able to talk with one of his future teammates as well.

"Logan Stott was there, so it was neat to be able to meet him," he said. "Going out there again I was like 90 percent sure I was going to Arizona, and now I'm 100 percent sure. Everybody was so nice and I loved it so much. Honestly when I got home I said I want to go back, I'm going to have so much fun there."

But what maybe stood out most to the future Wildcat offensive lineman was Arizona Stadium and the game day atmosphere.

"Being able to go to a game and seeing that many people in the stands, that meant a lot too," he said. "The fan base there is all about football and basketball, there's no pro teams there so that was another really cool thing for me too."

2014 athlete prospect Jalen Brown is becoming a key target for the Wildcats as he is both an in-state recruit and one who will eventually be rated fairly high when the rankings come out for his class.

The Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe standout visited UA last weekend, and he could make it back for a second straight week Saturday for the USC game. Brown has already received numerous offers, but UA has definitely made its presence known with the versatile prospect.

"U of A has been pushing for me a lot more than ASU and showing a lot of interest," he told Rivals.com West analyst Rob Cassidy this week. "Each week, I'll get a handwritten letter from them."

Being able to watch the Wildcats' offense work in person was a big part of the visit for Brown.

"What definitely stood out was the momentum they gained and how they kept that momentum throughout the whole game," he told GOAZCATS.com this week. "Surprisingly the defense played well and better than what I expected just from the past. And also they were throwing a lot more, so that was interesting to see."

A few days before visiting UA, Brown made a trip to Arizona State for its game against Oregon and both in-state schools remain in consideration.

"I've been to both campuses this season, and I've had a great time talking with the coaches," he said. "It's always good to get to see what those are like because it's where I'm from and they both have new coaching staffs. It's good to see what they're building.

"It was good to see how both schools were in both bad and good situations and to see what the offensive schemes for the coaches were and how they handled things."

Brown doesn't plan on making his decision until his senior year as things stand now.

Another 2014 in-state prospect who visited UA last week was Glendale (Ariz.) Mountain Ridge offensive lineman Troy Kowalski. The 6-foot-5 prospect doesn't hold any offers yet, but it was a chance for him to see a college program up close and get a feel for what a college atmosphere is like.

"It was phenomenal," he said. "They're a very good football team. Offensively they're very sound and the offensive line is very good. That's a plus because I play left tackle. The atmosphere was amazing with the crowd and that just blew me away. I'm not used to seeing a crowd like that and how loud they can get.

"It opened my eyes to where I could be in a couple years."

The style of offense is something Kowalski anticipates will play a big part in his decision, so that was something he watched closely last week.

"I really watched the offensive line since that's where I would be playing," he said. "I mostly watched the tackle spot, because I'd like to play tackle in college. Right now I'm 6-5, so it really depends on where they would put me and play me. But I was mainly focused on the tackles and watching the technique they were using so that I could learn from it and get better at the high school level to improve myself."

It's no secret that Rich Rodriguez likes his quarterbacks, and with the Wildcats wanting to increase their presence in the state of Arizona it made sense that Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton signal caller Allen Thigpen was a visitor at last week's game.

The 2013 prospect doesn't hold any offers, but he does feel the Wildcats have shown quite a bit of interest so far.

"Overall I'm getting looked at by a few schools," he told GOAZCATS.com. "But with Arizona they're probably the biggest school that has been talking with me the most often. ... They said that I'm one of the guys they are really interested in and they're looking at a few other guys.

"But I've talked to coach (Rod) Smith and he said he really likes me and when they talk about a quarterback who could help the program my name pops up with him and coach (Rich) Rodriguez."

Thigpen is planning to make a return trip for this weekend's game against USC and the Wildcats' are definitely an option as things stand now.

"I'm definitely looking for a school that would be willing to accommodate some of my strengths, but I can run and throw and U of A is set up like that," he said. "It's more of a spread, read-option offense and I think I could do that."

Matt MorenoMatt Moreno
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor

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