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July 6, 2012

Friday rewind: The week in UA recruiting

After picking up another commitment last Sunday night, it's been a relatively quiet week for Arizona football on the recruiting front. Three-star prospect Derek Babiash gave the Wildcats his pledge after taking a trip to Tucson to give the program its 22nd commitment of the 2013 class.

With the 'Cats approaching the 25-player limit, Rich Rodriguez and his staff will likely have a more focused approach to their recruiting strategy the rest of the way.

On the basketball side of things, it's the calm before the storm as we are now into July - which brings about the second "live" evaluation period. For three weekends this month college coaches will be allowed to evaluate prospects in person at different events throughout the country.

This weekend, however, brings the LeBron James Skills Academy that will be taking place in Las Vegas beginning Friday. The event will feature 80 of the country's top high school recruits as well as 20 of college basketball's best. The first day coaches can begin attending events is July 11.

So with all that going on here's a look back at the week and all that happened with UA recruiting.

One of the spots UA is still looking to add another prospect to is the running back spot. The Wildcats already hold a commitment from three-star recruit Zachary Green, but there are a few possibilities for others as well.

San Diego (Calif.) Madison running back Pierre Cormier is one of those options, and UA is a program that the talented

"I like it a lot, and it's probably my favorite right now," the 5-foot-11 recruit said about UA. "It's looking good for me, and I'm trying to get up there this month - possibly. If I like it, then I don't know what will happen. But I'm really looking into that school pretty hard."

Along with the fit at UA, Cormier has some other reasons why the Wildcats have piqued his interest.

"For one, I think Arizona would be a good place to live," he said. "I think it's a good school and it's not far from home. They have a good football program, and I think I fit in well there. They have good coaching, and I can see myself being successful on and off the field there.

"So that's why I'm looking into them how I am."

Cormier is hoping to visit UA before the end of the month with his teammate Lee Walker - who also holds an offer from the Wildcats - in hopes that it helps him along in his recruitment.

"I'll be out there with Lee, so we'll both be looking forward to getting a good vibe from the school and the whole environment," Cormier said. "I think that's what I'm looking into, just seeing if that's a place I feel like can be my home and I feel like I could see myself there.

"That is something I think can happen, because I really am interested in them. I'm looking forward to meeting the coaching staff, that should be great. It will be good to meet them in person and learn more about the program and the school."

At this point in the process Cormier hopes to have his decision made by the start of his senior season, but it could take longer.

"I want to say the latest will be right after my senior season," he said. "I want to have that all taken care of before my senior season, but if not hopefully I'll have my decision made right after my senior season."

Nebraska and Boise State are also standing out for the talented Southern California running back.

Another possible running back who could fill a spot is Cape Coral (Fla.) Island Coast speedster T.J. Johnson. The three-star all-purpose back picked up an offer from the Wildcats last month, and he's hoping to get out on a visit to Tucson sometime soon.

"They really like me," he told GOAZCATS.com this week. "They said I could play early, get into the offense and learn it. And I could be a good player for them in the future. ... They said they can fit me anywhere they can get the ball in my hands."

The 5-foot-7 recruit runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, and he knows that Rodriguez's staff has utilized players with similar skill sets well in the past - one of them being former West Virginia standout Noel Devine, who also happened to be from Florida.

"I like that a lot," Johnson said about the staff's familiarity with speedy Floridian prospects. "One player that they recruited when they were at West Virginia is from my area, Noel Devine. I talk to Noel sometimes about the coaching staff, and he said they're pretty cool."

On the basketball side of things there will be many prospects who start to narrow things down after the July evaluation period. One of the recruits who hopes to do so is UA recruit Elliott Pitts.

The Concord (Calif.) De La Salle standout has continued to pick up new offers and he's hoping to get out on some visits in August and narrow down his list.

"I'm working on narrowing it down pretty soon here," he told Rivals.com earlier this week. "Definitely after July is over I'll narrow it down to a top five. I'm going to take some visits this summer, probably in August, and those will be unofficials. Then I'll take some officials in the fall and see where I want to be. I'll make my decision sometime in the fall."

Pitts was included in the latest Rivals150 rankings as he came in at No. 141 overall. The talented guard prospect plays his travel ball with the Bay Area Hoosiers, which will be out on the road this summer at events all over the country.

The three-star recruit isn't naming any favorites as things stand right now.

Matt MorenoMatt Moreno
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor

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