Rodriguez planning for success

Rich Rodriguez has made plenty of moves with recruiting and his current team. Read on to see how the head coach is preparing for future success.

Since his arrival at Arizona at the end of 2011, Rich Rodriguez has been a busy man on the recruiting trail. Not only did he have to retain much of the holdover commits from the previous regime's class, but he had to tweak it a little and then ultimately complete it.

Recruiting for Rodriguez since his arrival at UA has been pretty hectic. On top of completing the 2012 class, there was the Davonte Neal debacle in the middle of all that and then the impending 2013 class that he had to attend to.

There was one 2013 commit already in place with Logan Stott, who has only seemed to become more firm in his commitment with Rodriguez's arrival. Since then, Rodriguez has nearly filled his entire class and we are still two months away from the start of the 2012 football season.

The coach has been able to not only land a vast quantity of recruits, but get players that fit both the offensive and defensive systems perfectly. In complicated schemes – especially on the offensive side of the ball – it is important the Rodriguez get the type of players that he feels he can utilize within the parameters of his system and he seems to have done just that.

The biggest benefit to landing the majority of the recruiting class relatively early is that now Rodriguez and his staff can focus more of their attention to getting everybody that is on the roster on the same page.

That's not to suggest that the UA coaching staff can ignore recruiting altogether. The Wildcats' staff will continue to work towards filling the last few available spaces in the 2013 class and then shift their focus to 2014, but now they can give a little more attention to game-planning and working with the team during the season.

Rodriguez has admitted that implementing his system is going to take require patience. It can get complicated and it generally takes time before every player on each side of the ball is on the same page, but that's why completing 90 percent of the recruiting class earlier than normal is so key for a team in the position that Arizona is win.

Expectations have been tempered around the Wildcats' fan-base and understandably so. Coming off a very rough season has, once again, raised many doubts regarding the state of the program, despite the arrival of the new staff.

Rodriguez himself admitted that he had a project ahead of him shortly after he arrived, but even with the concern surrounding the football team, no one should believe that the cupboards are bare for Rodriguez.

There are not only talented players on the roster, but ones that fit the new style of play perfectly. Players like Ka'Deem Carey, Matt Scott, Daniel Jenkins and Tra'Mayne Bondurant – just to name a few of many - seem to be perfect fits for the respective systems both Rodriguez and defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel will run.

Having players that can make the transition from one philosophy to another smoothly is one of the biggest factors in the potential success of the Arizona football team.

With players who can contribute in place and the coaching staff's attention largely directed towards the roster rather than spending more time on the recruiting trail, the Wildcats have a few things working in their favor heading into the 2012 campaign.

Combine those with the fact that Arizona hosts eight games –including all three out of conference games – and the high amount of both player and coaching turnover in the Pac-12, UA might have a situation ahead where it can be much more successful than anyone is really anticipating.

While Rodriguez put a disclaimer out to the public when he was hired that it could take some time for Arizona to see an increased level of success, he has certainly set himself nicely for his first season in Tucson before his team has officially taken the field.

With his relentless recruiting, the respect he has already gained from his players, willingness to whip the current roster into much better shape and get them on the same page, he has prepared his team to succeed in the upcoming campaign properly and it may very well be much earlier than anyone could have predicted.


Wildcat Authority Top Stories