Procuring a high percentage of commitments from official visitors has been an important part of the recruiting formula for UA football coach Rich Rodriguez.
The success rate is so high because Rich Rodriguez doesn’t waste time recruiting long shot prospects, and once the recruit hits campus a bond is usually forged.
“The visit did it for me,” said Folsom (Calif.) offensive lineman Cody Creason. “It was really first class all the way. When I got there the coaches gave me a total rundown of when and where everything was happening.
"On top of that the campus and the area was just beautiful and the campus life seemed great. I was blown away. I had good schools recruiting me, but nothing seemed even close to the fit that Arizona was.”
And the message was consistent.“A big part of their pitch to me was that they loved how big I was and the way in which I played," Creason said.
Creason’s size prevented him from playing football early, but, if anything, it strengthened his passion for the game.
“I was always a really big kid, and when others were able to go play football and I wasn’t it did bother me a little bit," he said. "I knew I would eventually be able to play and when I did I would be ready.
The three-star lineman was a force by the time he was a freshman.
“I was big and had that passion at an early age and when I got out on the field I was able to take frustrations out," he said. "I don’t want to say high school was easy, but being bigger and stronger with a will to get better made a huge difference.”
It was this attitude that attracted the Arizona coaches.“From the beginning they told me that they want the kind of guys who are doing whatever it takes to get the team to that next level," Creason said.
"It isn’t about who the flashiest guys are, it’s about the players who are willing to work harder in practice. Not because they have to, but because they want to.”
It was on his recruiting trip where Creason first noticed this mindset.
“When I talked with the coaches there just seemed to be an urgency to win," he said. "They talked about the big picture of winning nationally, but it takes doing everything the right way, from practicing early to taking care of school and then getting all the training necessary. You can’t waste a day is what I always remember.”