Head Coach Rich Rodriguez rebuilt what was already instilled at Arizona and shaped it to fit his up-tempo Read Option offense.
The Wildcats also made some noise when starting running back Ka'Deem Carey finished the season as the nation's leading rusher. He was also voted to the All-America Team.
With all the success, it is no surprise that San Diego Madison Senior HS running back Pierre Cormier chose to play for the Wildcats. However, Cormier committed to Arizona in early August, before Carey had a yard to his name in 2012. He put his faith in the program and it should pay off for Cormier.
"As soon as I got there, I knew I wanted to be a Wildcat," he said. "I saw one of their first practices and I got to walk around the campus. It felt like a perfect fit. Not just football, but the surroundings in general. I just felt really comfortable there and it was really a no-brainer."
He signed his letter of intent to play at Arizona on Wednesday morning. Cormier was joined at his school by current and future teammate Lee Walker, who also faxed a letter of intent to the Wildcat coaches.
Both players visited on the same unofficial visit in August, committed within a day of each other, and had been anxiously waiting to make it official.
One of the biggest things that Cormier is looking forward to at the next level is being able to go to school and share the field with his friend.
"It's good that we're both coming from the same high school," Cormier said of Walker. "We'll both go out there and because we are already good friends, it'll be really special.
"It's going to be cool to see how it all works out. The chemistry we have playing in the same offense is going to help us out a lot."
The two also plan on helping each other out off the field. Cormier knows that they both need to stay on top of their grades and will be counting on each other to put education first.
"We have to help each other out," he said. "Our academics are one of the first things on the list and I think if we can get that on point and we stay on track to getting out degrees, that's the most important thing. If we take care of our schoolwork, football will fall into place."
With many notable running backs coming out of the San Diego area over the years, including Reggie Bush, Cormier has taken pride in knowing that he is one of the top runners out of San Diego this year. The running back wants to prove himself and represent his home town.
"I'm a running back coming out of San Diego and there have been so many good running backs coming from here," Cormier said. "I want to join that group. Personally, I want to represent my city and myself."
Cormier visited Tucson a few weeks before Signing Day. He took the trip with Walker, among other signees from the San Diego area. The running back came away impressed with the atmosphere of the campus.
"I really enjoy the college environment," Cormier said. "The U of A is just the big time thing that is going on in Tucson. I think that's my main thing about the campus. The enthusiasm that everyone has there for the program, that's my favorite thing."
With Cormier on campus, he had a chance to talk to the Arizona coaches face-to-face. Although he has already built a strong relationship with them, it was a nice change of pace to be in the same room when having a conversation.
"For not even joining the team yet, I feel like the coaches are mine already," he said. "Now that it's Signing Day, they are officially, but our relationship is great. Going in, I just know that we already know each other and we won't be strangers or anything.
"They feel like family and its like I've known them for a couple years now. I feel like I can go in and just be comfortable and know that they are always there for me."
Cormier admits that he always knew that he wanted to play football for Arizona, but had to take other visits for the recruiting process. The high school senior has been collecting offers since his commitment, but his mind never wavered.
"I took a visit to Washington, but I've always been strong to Arizona," he said. "I got a late offer from Tennessee a week ago. I had a lot of options, but I knew from the beginning that Arizona was the best fit for me and I'm sticking with that. This is the best opportunity for me and I'm glad to be a part of the team."