College Football Recruiting: Arizona Wildcats in Running for Elite Cornerback

By Tyler Brett
jalen tabor
Steve Dykes – USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats are trying to build themselves into a winner in the Pac-12 under head coach Rich Rodriguez. In two years, the Wildcats have made huge strides as a program and will be looking to take the next step in 2014. Helping them to take that step might be an elite cornerback recruit in Jalen Tabor who has named Arizona as one of the finalists for his services next season.

Tabor is a four-star defensive playmaker out of Washington, DC, and the No. 5 rated cornerback prospect in the nation (No. 15 overall). He is scheduled to make his final decision in the next week or so, leaving plenty of time to speculate on where he’s leaning. Leading up to that announcement, however, Tabor narrowed his choices down to two schools from a laundry list of offers from top programs across the country.

“I’m down to two right now. It’s Arizona and Alabama, and I’m just taking it all in right now.”

The Alabama Crimson Tide just hosted Tabor recently and the recruit left Tuscaloosa very impressed. He called Alabama a great program and “probably the best program in the country,” and he was not surprised at the success they have had there winning championships. It’s no surprise that he would be interested in Alabama as Nick Saban has made a habit of recruiting the best players to his roster.

Arizona is a bit of a surprise, though, as they jumped the hometown Maryland Terrapins and early favorite Florida Gators. Tabor sees opportunity in Tucson, calling Arizona “an upstart program,” that he can see himself making an impact on right away. If he decides to head to Arizona, he would join teammate Jonathan Haden, a four-star running back, who has already committed to the Wildcats.

Signing a defensive difference-maker would be a huge boost to Arizona as they try and climb the ladder in the Pac-12. Last season, the Wildcats ranked dead-last in total defense and improved to No. 8 this season but still allowed 405.3 yards per game. The defense is a work in progress for Rodriguez and Tabor would be in a position to step in and play immediately, which is something that has obviously caught the elite recruit’s attention on the recruiting trail.

Will Arizona be able to make a late push to get Tabor to move west and steal him from Alaabama’s already stacked recruiting class?

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