Former ASU wide receiver Elijhah Badger names Arizona in Top 3 alongside Washington, Florida

Washington State v Arizona State
Washington State v Arizona State / Bruce Yeung/GettyImages

Save the date: Friday, May 17.

Former ASU wide receiver Elijhah Badger will announce his commitment on Friday after releasing his Top 3 schools, per On3's Hayes Fawcett.

At first, it seems like Arizona is fighting an uphill battle against Jedd Fisch-led Washington and the allure of playing in the SEC for Florida. However, Arizona has an ace up its sleeve.

Why Arizona is in this race:

ASU interim wide receiver coach Bobby Wade smiles during an ASU football practice at the Kajikawa
ASU interim wide receiver coach Bobby Wade smiles during an ASU football practice at the Kajikawa / David Wallace/The Republic via Imagn

Bobby Wade — Badger's positional coach at ASU for the last two seasons — is an all-time great Arizona wide receiver and has taken up the mantle as the Wildcats' wide receivers coach under Brent Brennan. If Arizona pulls this off, it would shake the college football world and certainly result from leveraging this connection.

There's also objectively a lot of upside on Arizona's roster. Noah Fifita is a dark horse Heisman Trophy contender, and Tetairoa McMillan is a consensus first-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. The offensive line maintained enough continuity that Fifita will remain upright long enough to find his targets.

The defense is also loaded with talent, including linebackers Jacob Manu and Justin Flowe, cornerbacks Tacario Davis and Treydan Stukes, and safeties Gunner Maldonado and Dalton Johnson.

There are plenty of reasons he would choose one of the other two programs, though.

What makes Washington look good?

Jedd Fisch, Brennan Carroll, Steve Belichick
University of Washington Spring Football Press Conference / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

It's no secret that Fisch inherited an extremely messy situation in Montlake. Between the NFL draft, transfer portal, and lack of success poaching from Arizona, the Huskies' roster is a far cry from January's National Championship squad.

That said, he did bring most of his staff from Arizona; they know how to build something from nothing. With all three top options from last year in the NFL, Badger would be catapulted straight to the top of the Huskies' depth chart and could be catching passes from former Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers.

What makes Florida look good?

Billy Napier
Florida State v Florida / James Gilbert/GettyImages

As for Florida, the Gators are looking rough at the wide receiver position with Ricky Pearsall's departure for the NFL. No player on Florida's roster went for over 550 receiving yards last year, and head coach Billy Napier will need to surround quarterback Graham Mertz with as much talent as possible.

Napier's seat is getting hotter by the day, and landing Badger would be a splash play that helps to ease tensions for the time being. It wouldn't be the first time he'd dipped into the bag of talent leaving Tempe: Pearsall spent three seasons at ASU before leaving for Florida ahead of the 2022 season.

Two San José State transfer targets for Arizona Football. dark. ICYMI. SJSUTrans

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