Here are some highlights from the Arizona Wildcats’ media availability after their third practice of training camp Wednesday night:
* The big news from Wednesday was the revelation that defensive tackle Sione Taufahema might miss all of training camp after recently undergoing a knee scope. (UA coach Rich Rodriguez said Taufahema had a “microscopic” procedure, but I think he meant arthroscopic.) The coaches were hoping Taufahema, a JC transfer, could be a rotation player, adding much-needed bulk to the D-line. Taufahema is on campus doing rehab and conditioning. He just isn’t on the camp roster as of now.
* Rodriguez gave the nod to the defense, which now has a 2-1 edge through three practices. He said the unit “overwhelmingly won” on third downs. That’s a great sign for a unit that frankly was awful on third downs last year (52.6 percent allowed, second worst in the nation).
* Rodriguez said the quarterbacks were just “OK” Wednesday. He’s hoping they’ll take a bigger step forward over the next few practices.
* Wednesday's media session was somewhat receiver-focused. Rodriguez said Cam Denson’s reps are being limited somewhat as he recovers from a spring foot injury. "He needs to have a big year,” Rodriguez said. “It’s his time."
* Receivers coach Theron Aych described redshirt junior Tony Ellison as "one of the sleepers in the conference." Rodriguez also praised Ellison, unprompted. Ellison has generated positive camp buzz in the past. He now needs to produce in games.
* Receiver Zach Benjamin said he is filing an appeal with the NCAA for an additional year of eligibility. He had to sit out 2016 as a transfer, even though he was a walk-on.
* Receiver Cedric Peterson is healthy and running with the first team after missing the end of last season because of a broken foot suffered on the Tuesday before the Washington State game.
* Peterson on fellow receiver Shun Brown: "You’d think he’s a coach out there with all the stuff he knows." Brown is, in fact, the son of a coach.
* Rodriguez said receiver Shawn Poindexter, who's 6-5, 212, might be the best-conditioned player on the team.
* Asked what defensive backs have impressed him the most so far, Peterson cited starters Dane Cruikshank, Jace Whittaker and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles – as well as freshman safeties Scottie Young Jr. and Troy Young.
* It sounds like Brian Casteel is a bit ahead of fellow freshman receiver Drew Dixon as far as grasping the playbook. Whether that translates into playing time this season remains to be seen.
* Aych said he is in charge of recruiting the southern part of Texas – “everything south of Waco.” Jahmile Addae and Brian Knorr are tag-teaming the Dallas area as Rodriguez tries to re-establish Texas as a recruiting base for Arizona.