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September 21, 2012

Friday rewind: The week in UA recruiting

Arizona is finished practicing for the week and the 22nd-ranked Wildcats are one day away from taking on No. 3 Oregon up in Eugene, Ore. Recruiting has obviously slowed down some since the 'Cats moved to 25 commitments in the 2013 class, but the wheels are still turning for 2014 recruits and other possible senior prospects as well.

One high-profile recruit who the Wildcats are still involved with is former UCLA commit and four-star prospect Dashon Hunt. The Rivals250 member is taking things fairly slow as he is currently in the middle of his final high school season. However, the nation's 26th-ranked cornerback recruit is getting closer to taking his first official visit.

Hunt's first official visit will be to Nebraska when the Cornhuskers take on Wisconsin next weekend. However, the trip to Lincoln won't be his last as the talented Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake defensive back plans on using all five of his allowed official visits before making his decision.

"I'm definitely taking all five officials because that's going to determine where I want to go to college," Hunt told Rivals.com West recruiting analyst Adam Gorney this week. "That's a big part of my decision, my official visits."

UA is among a handful of schools still in the running for Hunt, who has a list that includes programs such as Boise State and California among the group.

At this point Hunt's list is made up of eight schools overall, but he hopes to have that list narrowed down soon.

UA co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith watched Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain take a one-score win over Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral. The quarterback in that game for Desert Mountain was 2014 standout Kyle Allen, who already holds a number of offers.

Even though he has already earned plenty of attention, the talented junior is planning to put his recruitment on hold now that his team has gotten out to an undefeated start.

"Recruiting is taking my mind off of my high school team too much," Allen told BuckeyeGrove.com this week. "We have a great chance at winning a state championship this year. I'm going to put all my focus on that at this point."

On the basketball side of things the UA staff has been busy stopping by high schools to check in on recruits throughout the country. With two commitments in the 2013 class - now that Rondae Jefferson gave the program his pledge - Sean Miller and his staff have been working on getting around to see some prospects from the 2014 class.

One such recruit is four-star point guard Jordan McLaughlin. The nation's 35th-ranked prospect in the class has had plenty of college programs roll through Etiwanda, Calif., this school year and UA was one of the schools to stop by recently.

USC, UCLA, San Diego State, Indiana and New Mexico are some of the other programs that have stopped by to see the talented point guard.

"They have gone very well," McLaughlin said about his workouts when coaches are present. "Those are all outstanding schools. It did give me a better visual perspective rather than talking on the phone all the time to someone I haven't seen."

McLaughlin picked up his offer from the 'Cats near the end of the July evaluation period, and since that time the point guard prospect has continued to build his relationship with the UA staff.

"It has been good," the four-star prospect said of his relationship with Miller's staff. "We are trying to set up an unofficial visit some time coming up, but we haven't decided when yet."

At this point the 2014 recruit is not in a big rush to make his decision, and taking some trips will come first.

Another Rivals150 prospect who saw UA stop by his school to watch an open-gym workout was four-star recruit Dorian Pickens. The Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle standout picked up an offer from the 'Cats shortly after the end of the July evaluation period and he too has continued to build his relationship with Miller and his staff.

"Coach Miller stopped by the other day and it went great," he said. "Me and him are really starting to build a good relationship, and we're definitely talking more often and just trying to get to know each other better."

Seeing Miller stop by to watch him certainly didn't go unnoticed by the in-state prospect.

"It definitely sends a good message," he said. "It lets me know how serious they are about recruiting me and that I'm a guy who is high on their radar and the type of guy they want to play for them. So it's pretty huge for coach Miller to come by and watch an open gym."

Like many of his fellow 2014 recruits Pickens is nowhere near a decision just yet, and the four-star prospect plans on taking his time with that choice as things stand now.

"I'm not trying to rush my recruitment at all and I'm going to take my time," he said. "I'll probably make my decision closer to my senior year."

Matt MorenoMatt Moreno
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor

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