In-state recruiting battle bigger than ever

As the recruiting cycle for 2011 gets underway, one thing that you will notice is that the state of Arizona has more talent than it has had in many years past.

As the recruiting cycle for 2011 gets underway, one thing that you will notice is that the state of Arizona has more talent than it has had in many years past.

While it remains to be seen where the coaching staff sees that talent in the overall scheme of things, one can expect the Wildcats to aggressively pursue the better players in state.

The battle for in state recruits has been a topic since Dennis Erickson arrived, as the UA has only recruited a few players each year, while ASU makes it much more of a priority.

In the mind of the UA coaching staff, the general idea is to get the best talent. While it would be nice if that talent was within the state, that certainly has not been the case.

Arizona has been very top heavy in the past and when you get beyond the top 5-10 guys in state, there really is not much there.

The 2011 class, however, is a bit different and even though there are fantastic players at the top, even those are better than Arizona has seen in some time.

Take Chandler Hamilton offensive lineman Christian Westerman for instance. If you thought Everson Griffen was highly recruited, you have not seen anything yet in terms of how Westerman's recruitment will be.

Westerman will be recruited by literally every school in the country and it is relatively difficult to believe that he will be staying in Arizona. Such is the nature of the recruiting beats and if either Arizona or Arizona State is going to have a chance at him, it will be because it reaches the ten win mark.

Arizona is going to have a legitimate shot at numerous prospects in the state, but due to the high quality of players, the competition will be higher.

When looking at the players that Arizona will be recruiting there are definitely some that stick out in terms of likeliness, such as Sam Papa. The linebacker was recently offered by Arizona and with his connections to the UA, there is a good chance it plays out like the Kyle Benson recruitment.

This year's in state recruiting wars are going to be fun to watch and considering where both programs are, there is a good chance that it will take time to unravel as well.

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