University of Arizona linebackers coach Tim Kish was named one of the nation's top football recruiters by Rivals.com this week, joining counterparts at 24 other major colleges across the nation.
The recruiting analysts noted that head coaches -- Mike Stoops in Kish's case, entire staffs and recruiting coordinators (Dan Berezowitz at Arizona) -- play huge roles in attracting top-level talent, but rated Kish among a number of other coaches whose schools drew highly-rated recruting classes culminating with Feb. 2 National Letter of Intent signing day.
Kish and the rest of UA's staff has been at Arizona one year under Mike Stoops. In 2004, the staff recruited a solid class in only a short period of time after joining the program in December and January, then immediately set to work on 2005 recruiting. The effort paid off.
Kish was cited for his work in the metropolitan Phoenix area 100 miles from campus, an area from which Arizona signed several players generally considered among the top eight in the state -- running back Terry Longbons and offensive lineman Jordan Lowe of Peoria High School.
The Cats also bring back sophomore linebacker Spencer Larsen of Gilbert, Ariz., in the Phoenix area after his two-year Mormon mission and signed two other noted Arizona players in running back Xavier Smith of Tucson Sunnyside and Daniel Borg of Tucson Ironwood Ridge.
Arizona's recruiting class was rated in the Top 25 by most ratings services and as high as No. 14 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Scout.com.
Other coaches named by Rivals in its Top 25 Recruiters for 2005 include Kevin Steele of Florida State, cited as the top overall, Eric Bieniemy of UCLA, John Blake of Nebraska, Mike Cassity of Louisville, Mario Christobal of Miami, Bob Connelly of Alabama, Mark D'Onofrio of Virginia, Stan Eggen of Texas A&M, Lester Erb of Iowa, James Franklin of Maryland, Rodney Garner of Georgia, Ron Gould of California, Mark Hagen of Purdue, Doc Holliday of Florida, former UA assistant Rob Ianello of Notre Dame, David Kelly of Duke, Lane Kiffin of Southern California, Mike Locksley of Illinois, former UA graduate assistant (under Larry Smith) Terry Malone of Michigan, Rick Stockstill of South Carolina, Dabo Swinney of Clemson, Trooper Taylor of Tennessee, Charley Wiles of Virginia Tech and Darrell Wyatt of Oklahoma.