5-star EDGE stays in Tucson
On Thursday (7/6), the highest-rated EDGE rusher in high school football, Elijah Rushing, announced his commitment to the University of Arizona. It will be an easy transition for Rushing as he stays in-city coming from Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, AZ. The 5-star commitment gives the Wildcats the highest-rated recruit in program history from the modern ranking era.
He had previously narrowed down his nearly 40 offers to a top-4 of Arizona, Oregon, Notre Dame and Tennessee.
Why Elijah Rushing chose Arizona
“Do you want to be remembered as just one of the guys that took the common road? Or do you want to build something from the ground up, with your own hands? For me, it’s something that became really important. I want to build something special at the next level and what better way to do that than at my hometown school for a community that I love.”
- Rushing told 247sports.com on his commitment to Arizona
Don’t look now, but Jedd Fisch’s Wildcats are trending in the right direction. And it appears Rushing wants to be a part of that process. Even after finishing 5-7 (3-6 conference), there is still plenty of promise with the University of Arizona program – especially with some enticing players on the team.
Behind Caleb Williams, QB Jayden de Laura might be one of the most exciting players to watch not only in the PAC-12 but in the country.
If OT Jordan Morgan can bounce back from his torn ACL suffered last fall, he can find himself as one of the best tackles in the Pac-12 and a high draft pick come next spring.
WR Tetairoa McMillan was a former 5-star recruit himself with an excellent blend of size and speed. He can find himself quickly becoming one of the top wideouts in the country if his traits develop.
What the U of A is getting in Elijah Rushing
It’s sufficient to say Rushing’s dedication to his hometown school can translate well into the locker room and program, but there are still plenty of attributes to his game that made him one of the most sought-after recruits in the country. He is BIG (6’6”, 250lbs) with length and a frame to still develop into. That’s the first thing that jumps out of the tape with him, as he isn’t as “twitched” up as you would expect from such a prominent prospect because of his large size. But he still has great speed for his mold and complements his power with it very well.
He has a fantastic get-off, and he uses that length as leverage on bull rushes adequately. His primary move is a swim – and it works – despite his longer arms and power-first playstyle. You could say you would like to see more bend from the highest-rated EDGE prospect in the country, but that’s not his style. He’s stout in the run and has upside as a rusher and plenty of ability to be used inside frequently.
It’s easy to see why Rushing was such a high-ranking player. The mold and intangibles are exactly what you want to see from an EDGE prospect. Because of that, his versatility across the defensive line is more than likely what teams saw as most enticing. There is plenty of potential there – he’s a high-floor/high-ceiling player that plays with good effort. Not only that, committing to your ascending hometown college team bodes very well in a lot of areas.
As a junior in 2022, he finished with 73 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 11.5 sacks, and four FF in 12 games. Even as a sophomore in 2021, he had 75 tackles, 9 TFL, 7.5 sacks, and one fumble recovery.
It was a BIG get for Arizona, and Rushing figures to be a contributor right away.