Arizona received a commitment on Thursday from 2024 five-star EDGE Elijah Rushing, marking arguably the biggest recruiting win in program history. Rushing, who is ranked No. 8 in the 247Sports rankings, is the first five star the Wildcats have landed in the star system era. It bumps up the program from 50th to 41st in the 2024 247Sports class rankings.
Rushing plays high school football at Salpointe Catholic in Tucson, Ariz., which is located just five miles from the University of Arizona campus. The Wildcats beat out Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee, among others, for his services. Elijah’s brother, Cruz, is also a member of the Wildcats after transferring from Florida.
“It [being close to home] was a big factor, and it was the best situation for me,” Rushing told 247Sports. “For me it was important to put us on the map and show who we are.”
The Wildcats are ranked third among Pac-12 teams in the 2024 class behind Oregon and Stanford. Arizona finished sixth in the 2023 recruiting cycle among Pac-12 team teams.
The program’s highest-ranked commitment before Rushing was four-star WR Tetaiora McMillian, who was ranked 37th overall in the 2022 class. McMillan made an immediate impact as a freshman and racked up 39 catches for 702 yards and eight touchdowns.
Fisch’s rebuild paying dividends
The Wildcats program has gone through a full rebuild under head coach Jedd Fisch, who was hired after the 2020 season to rebuild the program. Though the team finished with an abysmal 1-11 record in Fisch’s debut, it showed significant improvement last season by going 5-7 and nearly securing a bowl berth for the first time since 2017.
Rushing’s commitment signals the rebuild is close to being on the other side of the horizon. Arizona already landed…