KELLY: Cats right to make Texas a priority again - Tucson News Now

KELLY: Cats right to make Texas a priority again

David Kelly has spent very little time in his life in the state of Texas but he's heard they play good football there. David Kelly has spent very little time in his life in the state of Texas but he's heard they play good football there.
(Cover photo courtesy: Jim Wilson/Allen Independent School District) (Cover photo courtesy: Jim Wilson/Allen Independent School District)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Wildcats are back in Texas.

What took them so long?

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez took part in a football camp earlier this week at Texas Southern University.

It was a camp where he was joined by Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and Texas’ new boss Tom Herman.

What was unusual about the appearance is the Wildcats don’t recruit in Texas.

Or do they?

Rich Rodriguez indicated this week that Texas is a state where the UA has begun to have a recruiting focus.

It’s a stark reversal from his first five seasons in Tucson where his staff avoided Texas, a state that had always been a stronghold during the program’s run under Mike Stoops.

NFL players Nick Foles, Mike Thomas and Trevin Wade all were recruited by Stoops and his staff out of the Lone Star state.

The Wildcats currently have a couple of key defenders from Texas in sophomore safety Tristan Cooper and junior defensive lineman Larry Tharpe Jr.

Cooper had 35 tackles in 11 games last season and Tharpe, a walk-on, burst on to the scene mid-season showing a disruptive force on the defensive line that the Wildcats have been missing under Rodriguez.

Ignoring Texas was something I never understood.

There’s just too much talent there. There’s too many guys to ignore who could help provide quality depth in a program that has been lacking it in the past couple of seasons.

Depending on what recruiting service you follow, UA currently has anywhere from 11-to-19 offers out to players from the state of Texas.

Let’s hope for Rich Rodriguez’s sake that some of those players begin to say yes to Arizona.

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