Carey important commit for Arizona

Arizona saw its 2011 recruiting class more than double after the recent camps that it held a little over a week ago. Perhaps the cream of the crop - not to mention most surprising commit of the group - was local running back Ka'Deem Carey from Canyon Del Oro.

Arizona saw its 2011 recruiting class more than double after the recent camps that it held a little over a week ago. Perhaps the cream of the crop - not to mention most surprising commit of the group - was local running back Ka'Deem Carey from Canyon Del Oro.

Carey had a monster junior season where he rushed for over 2700 yards and scored 45 touchdowns on the ground. He was not only able to compile such impressive numbers against local Tucson talent, but also some of the top schools in the state which led to a state championship.

Carey abruptly ended his recruitment before it really got a chance to take off, but that's an excellent sign for the Wildcats. As Mike Stoops and his staff continue to build the program year after year, the focus on grabbing the best in-state talent has obviously increased.

In the 2009 class, it was Adam Hall - a Palo Verde product - that was the top local product. At one time, many thought it that UA had its hands full in acquiring Hall's services , but the Wildcats had improved immensely in 2008 and stayed on Hall, whose father played at Arizona. At the end, Hall decided to stay home and help UA grow as a program.

This past season, it was Marquis Flowers from Goodyear Millennium that was the top target of many schools in the Pac-10. Being in Sun Devils' country, it could have been a lot more difficult to land Flowers but Stoops and company have gradually improved their standing with players in the Phoenix area. Flowers was intrigued by the history of previous defensive backs that have played ball at Arizona and chose the Wildcats in hopes that he would have the same success.

This year, it's another local product in Carey and he may be the most talented high school product from the Tucson area in many years. His numbers speak for themselves and some of the most prestigious programs across the nation had Carey on their respective radars. The fact that Carey committed to UA so early in the process is an excellent sign for the Wildcats.

Arizona is widely known as more of a basketball school than football school so many of the best local high school football prospects will take their time with their recruitment to see if a more historic program steps to the plate with an offer. Carey decided to stay in his home town in hopes of helping the Wildcats reach new heights as a program.

The state of Arizona is improving its quality of high school football talent with each year that passes so it is essential that the UA staff continues its pursuit of the best prospects in the state. The Wildcats certainly don't have the pull in their state as Texas, USC or Ohio State has in their respective states, but landing a player of Carey's caliber sends a message to future prospects that Arizona is a viable destination to play college football.

It will still struggle to land certain in-state recruits. Arizona prospects like Kris O'Dowd, Devon Kennard and most recently Christian Westerman, have barely given the Wildcats a legitimate chance, instead pursuing much larger programs. As Arizona continues to grow, improve and make more of an impact in its own state, it is more realistic to believe that the Wildcats will be able to land these types of high-caliber prospects on a more consistent basis.

For now, the Carey commitment is huge. Getting a player this talented to commit this early is a testament to how much UA has improved its standing over the past seven years. If he makes as big of an impact as everyone expects him to, the Wildcats are not only set at running back, but will look a lot more attractive to top talent in Arizona going forward.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories