Cameron Denson could very well have been the most important prospect in the building for Arizona's 39-36 win over USC on Saturday. The Tucson, Ariz., native is a dynamic athlete and considered to be one of the state's top juniors.
That, of course, is all to say that even at this early stage of his recruitment, the win he watched from the Arizona Stadium stands meant something. In this case, the facts are as follows:
The perception of Rich Rodriguez's program is changing. And so too is Denson's opinion of the school down the road from his house.
"I see Arizona differently now," Denson said on Sunday. "Seeing Rich Rodriguez and his coaching staff … they're really good people and they recruit me really well. I like what they're doing over there."
Denson is miles away from making a commitment to any school and calling the Wildcats the early favorite would be a stretch of elastic proportions. That said, a seed has been planted. There are certain thoughts that occasionally run through his head.
"There's a part of me that wants to stay here to play college football," Denson said. "But, right now, it really doesn't matter at all. I'm taking my time. For now, it was just nice to see Arizona beat one of the top 10 teams in the country."
Desnon says he attends "pretty much every Arizona home game" and has no out-of-city unofficial visits scheduled at the moment. The time for traveling will come later. For now, the decorated 2014 prospect is focused on the state playoffs, which will get started this weekend. The timing couldn't better, as Denson says things as they relate to his college recruitment have hit a brief lull.
"My last offer was that one from Washington," he said. "It's been a while and that was the last one. It's been pretty slow lately."
Denson, who has already amassed eight scholarship offers, will wait until at least the start of his senior season before he considers making a verbal commitment.
Led by Denson, Tucson Salpointe Catholic High School amassed a 10-1 regular-season record and is the top seed in Arizona's Division-II state tournament, which is set to get under way this week.