With 28 commitments for its 2014 recruiting class, Arizona has made big strides to continue building up its roster with talented players. However, with less than two months remaining until the official national signing day on Feb. 5, there are still some questions the Wildcats need to have answered.
Currently, Arizona's upcoming class ranks as the 20th-best in the nation, according to 247Sports.
Though Arizona's current roster won't be decimated too badly by graduation (or early departures to the NFL), there are a number of spots where incoming recruits will be expected to make instant contributions. Therefore, having a good sense of what to expect on signing day will help coaches plan for the future.
Arizona's recruiting for 2014 has been based on filling the needs it anticipates having next season.
That includes the assumption that Ka'Deem Carey will turn pro following his junior year.
Carey has had as good a season in 2013 as he did in 2012, when he led the FBS in rushing. With that being said, it's not certain that he will declare for the NFL draft, according to Daniel Berk of the Arizona Daily Star:
The junior submitted paperwork to the NFL’s draft advisory board this week. Carey indicated to the Star that if he’s projected as a first- or second-round selection, he’d likely pursue leaving early. But after watching (Boston College's Andre) Williams win the Doak Walker award, he said he still had some “unfinished business” in college.
If Carey were to return for his senior year, it would completely change the makeup of the 2014 team. It would also mean not having to worry as much about having a 2014 running back commitment make an instant impact.
Arizona is considered still in the running for Jalen Tabor, a 5-star cornerback from Washington, D.C.
Despite what his hype video above might indicate, Tabor is still a big target that Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez is gunning for. Tabor, whose teammate Jonathan Haden has already committed to Arizona, made his official visit to Tucson on Nov. 15—and, according to the Arizona Daily Star, Rodriguez checked in on him last week.
Another 5-star player the Wildcats are hoping to grab is Damian Prince. However, with so many offers, 247Sports notes it's unlikely that the offensive tackle from Maryland will end up at Arizona.
The Wildcats do not currently have a commitment from a 5-star recruit, and haven't signed a 5-star player in several years.
Arizona's commitments feature players at nearly every position, with multiple players at offensive line, tight end, linebacker and in the secondary.
However, with the Wildcats' usage of a 3-3-5 defensive alignment on third downs and in obvious passing situations—as well as a hybrid specialty unit, known as the SWAT defense—having the ability to go more than two deep at every position on that side of the ball is key.
To that end, look for Arizona to keep chasing more defensive players, as well as working to gauge the interest of two-way high school stars of forgoing a chance to play on offense in college.