How Arizona's Noah Fifita became one of the best quarterbacks in college football

Arizona found a diamond in the rough at the QB spot.
Nov 25, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats quarterback Noah Fifita (11) celebrates a
Nov 25, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats quarterback Noah Fifita (11) celebrates a / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Recruiting process

Fifita wasn't an overly highly touted prospect coming out of Servite High School in Anaheim, California. He was graded as a three-star prospect and was the 40th-ranked quarterback in the class. His seven offers coming out of high school were from FCS Idaho State, the Mountain West's Hawaii, Utah State, New Mexico, and Fresno State, and the Pac-12's Cal and Arizona.

"Small frame and short in stature. Limited physically without much growth potential... Shows knack for maintaining eyes down field while scrambling. Displays decent arm strength and good accuracy... Makes good decisions with the football and puts good touch... Doesn't force throws and tucks the ball to fight for positive plays... Could [look] to improve overall speed and add zip on deep routes. Potential starter at Power Five level later in college career."

Blair Angulo, 24/7 Sports

Fifita didn't go on a single official visit during his recruitment process and committed to Arizona on April 4, 2021, as the first of four prospects from Servite High School that Arizona was pursuing. He was an instrumental part in the Wildcats landing unheralded linebacker Jacob Manu and flipping tight end Keyan Burnett from USC.

However, nothing he did before coming to Arizona full-time was more important than the role he played in getting consensus five-star wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan to flip his commitment from Oregon to join the rest of the band in the Old Pueblo. McMillan became Arizona's highest-graded recruit ever to join the program, and his closeness with Fifita is largely to thank.