The Scout 300 for 2016 was revealed on Wednesday and while there is obviously a long way until these kids sign, it's not too early to take a look at the prospects that Arizona has had some initial contact with or offered. The first part will look at the players ranked 1-100.
Caleb Kelly, 12: Arizona is on Kelly early, but so are most schools in the country. He will be extremely difficult to get and Scout.com's evaluation of him shows why.
"Kelly is our early pick as the top defensive player in the region. At 6-3, 215 pounds, he's an athletic freak who runs around like a safety, but has the frame to get up to 240 pounds or so with ease down the road.
His position at the H.S level is an inside ‘backer so he can roam from sideline to sideline and make plays but at the next level, we think he's an ideal blitzing OLB in a 3-4 type scheme. He can run, hit, is very aggressive, a solid tackler and looks like a natural pass rusher as well.
He shows very good leadership skills as well, works hard off the field and has a strong desire to want to be a great player. You don't see too many young linebackers with the ability to rush the passer, play in space and drop back and look comfortable in coverage but Kelly excels in all three aspects and will only get better.
Shea Patterson, 18: The Arizona commit is going to make a case for the best signal caller in the country. The coaching staff will have to do major work to hold on to him, but you have to give credit to its early evaluation skills. Patterson would have to be considered one of the best recruits Arizona has gotten in quite some time and would be the elite quarterback that Rich Rodriguez has been looking for since arriving in Tucson.
Trevon Sidney, 21: Another player that Arizona was in on early, Sidney is basically going to have his choice of schools at west, especially if he can perform as well as he did at the recent Oregon NFTC.
"Sidney won the MVP honors for the receivers and it wouldn't be a stretch to call Sidney the MVP of the day on Sunday. Not just at receiver, but overall. Sidney was terrific in the one-on-one's, catching everything, including a stretch where he made a one-handed grab, jumped over a DB to catch a pass in the end zone in front of the DBs face and making a crafty sideline catch where he kept both feet in bounds. Already an early four-star by Scout, Sidney has game-breaker speed, soft hands and runs excellent routes then shows the explosiveness you want in a big-play receiver."
Dylan Crawford, 38: Arizona has not offered Crawford, but our guess is that the coaching staff decides to do so. It has had contact with him already and he is a good enough receiver to make an impact sooner than later. He is very similar to Sidney in that he is polished, explosive, and can make the difficult plays. Crawford is very early in his recruitment, but Arizona will likely try to get in there.
Garrett Rand, 50: Rand's recruitment is eventually going to take off and we can see him as a player that has a major choice to make because he will have national options. Wisconsin and Notre Dame should be involved and the majority of the Pac-12 will be as well. Arizona has not had success with Chandler Hamilton in the past, so we can see Rand as a difficult player to land.
Chase Lucas, 61: Arizona will be right in the thick of things, but Arizona State got involved early and has a few connections. An Oregon offer would probably put the Ducks on top and a USC offer would have a similar reaction. Arizona would love to land Lucas, who is one of the more explosive backs in the west. There are numerous other schools that are saying the same thing and we probably won't have a good feel for this one for a while because Lucas is very early in his recruiting process.
K.J. Costello, 68: Costello may not be the prototypical Arizona quarterback, but we see the coaching staff likely getting involved. Similar to other players on this list, Costello had an impressive NFTC recently.
"Costello was probably the top underclassmen there and he too threw with a lot of consistency and his best throws came in the 1-on-1's, especially when he was throwing to his 7v7 teammate Crawford. As big as Costello is, he moves around very well and looked sharp with good spin on his throws during the quarterback drills."
Costello reminds people of Carson Palmer and the local schools will likely recruit him. His recruitment is already national and this is another case of a player on this list being difficult to land.
Shane Simmons, 71: Arizona actually has done a pretty good job with Simmons and is trying to get him on campus, but location will be a factor here.
"We're just all grateful for the opportunities I have," Simmons said. "They (Parents) would like me to stay close, though, like on the East Coast. And that's where I see myself, either in the SEC, Big Ten or ACC – one of the conferences with East Coast schools."
Arizona fans know all too well how hard it is to change the mind of family, so we don't expect Simmons to wind up in Tucson, but the staff is still on him and crazier things have happened.
Mykel Jones, 75: There is no offer yet from Arizona, but it is coming. Jones is on record as saying he wants to play with Patterson and the two have talked about it at length. In fact, it is one of the reasons why a lot of people don't think Patterson will wind up at Arizona, but we don't necessarily agree with that. You can expect the coaching staff to eventually pick it up with the four-star receiver.
Robert Washington, 87: Arizona has offered Washington, but there is not much of a recruitment yet. He has offers from schools throughout the country and location will probably be a factor because he has plenty of offers closer to home. Arizona will likely recruit him, but our guess is that other options will emerge as being more serious.