Rising States: Arizona

Rising States: Illinois | South Carolina | Louisiana

Arizona was able to secure an early commitment from Cameron Denson.

As the 2014 recruiting cycle comes into full focus, we examine states that are trending up in terms of elite talent and the Grand Canyon State certainly is one of those.

The state of Arizona has been a riser in talent in recent classes, especially in the Phoenix/Scottsdale/Peoria area, but the 2014 class is on another level. While its just now March, the state already has nine prospects with four-star ratings, including eight in the 247Composite, compared to 11 four-stars combined in the last two classes.

"Given the population increase and the further establishment of some excellent high school programs, the state of Arizona, the greater Phoenix and Tucson areas in particular have seen exponential increases in the number of quality prospects per cycle and 2014 is the best to date on paper," 247Sports National Recruiting Director JC Shurburtt said.

The top-ranked prospect in the state is cornerback prospect and Arizona commitment Cameron Denson (Tucson/Salpointe). The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder is the No. 41-ranked prospect in the 247Composite, and made a statement Jan. 12 when he announced he was staying home for college.

The position receiving the most attention early on is the offensive line, which is drawing comparisons to the 2011 class that featured Christian Westerman, Andre Yruretagoyena and Cyrus Hobbi. The 2014 class of beef is led by USC commitment Casey Tucker (Chandler/Hamilton), who is the No. 66-ranked prospect in the 247Composite. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Tucker is joined in the impressive group by tackle Andrew Mike (Tucson/Sabino) and guard Natrell Curtis (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe), both in the 247Composite rankings.

Add in Top247 tackle Layth Friekh (Peoria/Centennial) and guard Breeon Auzenne (Tucson/Salpointe Catholic), and there are currently five linemen with BCS Conference offers.

Right behind the offensive line as the most talented position in the state is wide receiver. Leading the way is one of the top hybrid wide receiver/flex tight end prospects in the country in Mark Andrews (Scottsdale/Desert Mountain). The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder with offers from Ohio State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Arizona among many others is the No. 62-ranked prospect in the 247Composite, and is a teammate of the state’s top signal caller.

Joining Andrews at receiver is high-point specialist Jalen Brown (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe) and high three-star prospect Dionte Sykes (Chandler High). Brown, the No. 67-ranked prospect in the 247Composite, is considering offers from Arizona, Arizona State and Ohio State with hopes of picking up an offer from Southern California.

At quarterback, strong-armed Kyle Allen (Scottsdale/Desert Mountain) is the top-ranked prospect checking in at No. 101 in the 247Composite. The 6-foot-1.5, 185-pound pro-style prospect picked up offers from Texas A&M and West Virginia late in February to give him a dozen, including UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona and Oklahoma State.

Joining Denson on the defensive side of the ball in the 247Composite is defensive end Qualen Cunningham (Chandler/Hamilton). The 6-foot-4, 220-pound teammate of Casey Tucker has family ties to Texas A&M, who is considered the favorite with programs such as Southern California, Boise State, Arizona State and Washington trying to pal catch up. Cunningham is the No. 106-ranked prospect in the 247Composite.

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