Arizona is in hot pursuit of numerous in-state prospects from the 2013 recruiting class as new head coach Rich Rodriguez has made a serious effort to improve the school's standing with Arizona high school football prospects.
One target the UA staff is keeping its eye on is Phoenix Thunderbird running back Kani Benoit. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder is looking to get in touch with the Wildcats' coaching staff and has reached out to Arizona in an effort to communicate with the new coaches.
"I sent their recruiting coordinator a highlight video and I am waiting to hear back from Arizona," Benoit said.
Rodriguez's offensive philosophy is appealing to Benoit, who believes the spread-option fits his skill-set nicely.
"With the offense I have been running at Thunderbird I think I would be able fit into that type of offense," Benoit said. "It's a good offense that spreads out their skill players pretty well. It would work for me and the position I play now and the various places they'd put me on the field."
UA is going to have some stiff competition in the pursuit of Benoit. The running back has been hearing from several strong programs from different regions of the country.
"Georgia Tech has been pretty interested," Benoit said. "They have been emailing me and I have talked to them. They want to set me up for a visit out there in March. Then Boise State and Missouri."
He also plans on taking visits to a couple of different schools at some point down the road.
"Most likely Arizona State and Georgia Tech," Benoit said.
The prospect from Phoenix has a busy slate looming. With several camps on his schedule in the near future, he is going to showcase his skills frequently in the coming months for coaches who are pursuing him.
"I have the Future Pro Combine on March 24th," Benoit said. "And then I am doing the National Underclassmen Combine and then I am going to try to make the Sparq Combine in Long Beach."
Benoit continues to garner more interest as he recruiting process progresses, but has a few favorites currently.
"My top three right now would probably be Georgia Tech, Arizona State and then Boise State," Benoit said.
There are still a little less than 12 months remaining until 2013 Signing Day and Benoit would like to take his time making a decision. That doesn't mean he will rule out an early commitment, however, as he is open to choosing a school early if something clicks for him during his visits.
"I think it would probably be some time next year in February before Signing Day," Benoit said. "Or in the summer, if I really like the schools I visit, I may make an early commitment."