When Rich Rodriguez signed his first recruiting class with the Arizona Wildcats in Feb. 2012, little did he know that it would take over a year for the biggest names to join the program.
Wide receiver Cayleb Jones announced Tuesday that he is transferring to Arizona from Texas, becoming the third player from the Class of 2012 to arrive on campus in the last five months. He joins two other players from BCS conferences, wide receiver Davonte Neal from Notre Dame and his Texas teammate, quarterback Connor Brewer. All three players were ranked by Rivals as four-star recruits in the Class of 2012.
If Brewer, Jones and Neal had committed to Arizona out of high school, the Wildcats’ 46th-best recruiting class in 2012 would have looked a lot different.
But where exactly would it have ranked?
Player movement was as follows:
Remaining Players (19):
S Jamar Allah (Phoenix/North Canyon) – Played in 11 games, recording five tackles
QB Javelle Allen (Prosper, Texas/Prosper) – Redshirted
OL Beau Boyster (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) – Redshirted
OL Cayman Bundage (Oklahoma City/Douglass) – Played in 11 games (one start)
LB Keoni Bush-Loo (Honolulu/Kamehameha School) – Played in 12 games, recording three tackles
S Wayne Capers Jr. (Bridgeville, Pa./Chartiers Valley) – Played in 11 games (one start), recording 12 tackles (one for loss), one pass broken up and one forced fumble
LB Dakota Conwell (Pittsburgh/Upper St. Clair) – Played in 10 games, recording 12 tackles (three for loss), one sack and two passes broken up
LB C.J. Dozier (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) – Played in nine games (one start), recording 27 tackles and one forced fumble
WR Clive Georges (Key West, Fla./Key West) – Redshirted
WR Trey Griffey (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) – Redshirted
OL T.D. Gross (Santee, Calif./Santana) – Redshirted
OL Zach Hemmila (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler) – Redshirted
LB Cody Ippolito (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) – Played in seven games
DL Kyle Kelley (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) – Redshirted
TE Josh Kern (San Antonio/Tom C. Clark) – Redshirted
LB Anthony Lopez (Gilbert, Ariz./Mesquite) – Played in 12 games
DL Dwight Melvin (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax) – Redshirted
S William Parks (Philadelphia/Germantown) – Played in 13 games, recording nine tackles
S Yamen Sanders (Culver City, Calif./Culver City) – Redshirted
QB Connor Brewer (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) – Transferred from Texas
WR Cayleb Jones (Austin, Texas/Austin) – Transferred from Texas
WR Davonte Neal (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) – Transferred from Notre Dame
WR Jarrell Bennett (New Orleans/Edna Karr) – Transferred to Southeastern Louisiana University
DL Dylan Cozens (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) – MLB Draft
CB Bryan Harper (Ontario, Calif./Colony) – Transferred to Fresno State
S Leo Thomas (San Antonio/Sam Houston) – Left team in Aug. 2012
RB J.T. Washington (Satellite Beach, Fla./Satellite Beach) - Left team in April 2013
Using Rivals.com’s old team ranking formula, the updated Wildcats’ class produces 1,094 points, an increase of nearly 300, making them the 28th-best class in 2012.
That mark would have pushed the Wildcats from 11th to 7th in the conference, moving them ahead of Utah, Colorado, Arizona State and Oregon State, but keeping them behind Stanford, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington and Cal. Washington State’s recruiting class ranked last in both scenarios.
While this does not account for player movement from every team, it still would have been an impressive first recruiting class for Rodriguez, who was hired less than three months before Signing Day.
Scrounging for Division 1 transfers also seems to be part of the new staff’s philosophy. Four players on the current roster previously played for Division 1-FBS teams: quarterbacks Jesse Scroggins (USC) and Nick Isham (Louisiana Tech), defensive lineman Tevin Hood (Duke) and kicker Jake Smith (Syracuse).
This does not include running back Daniel Jenkins, who temporarily transferred to Washington State, defensive back Jarvis McCall, who signed a letter of intent with University of South Florida before failing to qualify academically, and defensive back Brendan Murphy, who attended Air Force in 2010 and 2011, but was not listed on the official roster.
The Wildcats also have commitments from ex-Boise State defensive lineman Jeff Worthy and ex-TCU defensive back Jamie Byrd for the 2014 recruiting class. Both players will play at junior colleges during the upcoming season.
So yes, Arizona is officially “Transfer U.”