The heavy lifting of fall camp is over.
The Wildcats went through two practices today and will hold a closed walk-thru tomorrow night and then are scheduled to practice again Saturday afternoon.
The two sessions will be more focused toward next week’s season-opener against NAU rather than a tough, fall camp practice.
In fact, tomorrow night’s practice even has a name—the “Beanie Bowl.” It gives everyone—from the players to the coaches to the stadium operations staff a chance for a dress rehearsal before next week’s game.
“Tomorrow’s scrimmage will mean absolutely nothing to us as far as determining who is going to play,” coach Rich Rodriguez said. “It’s a glorified walk-thru. We’ll have pads on and they’ll look good in their new uniforms. Unless a guy just blows a gasket mentally, it will make us a little nervous. But other than that, most of our evaluations are coming in practice and tomorrow won’t be the end-all anyways.
There will be another three or four days until we determine who starts. And I’m not worried about who starts. I don’t want them to worry about it, even though they do. I just want them to worry about getting better and being good enough to win with.”
There wasn’t a lot to come out of our chat with Rodriguez after this morning’s practice after a newsy practice the night before. As a result, we’ll just get straight to the quotes from after practice.
• Rodriguez on QB Javelle Allen: “Javelle has gotten better. We got on him pretty good in the spring. I didn’t think his work ethic or his focus was as good as it could be. He had a good summer. He’s had a pretty good camp. He’s gotten a little bit better everyday. He’s still a redshirt freshmen. He’s gotten in the mix with his play the last four or five days.”
• Rodriguez on his recruiting contacts in California when he took the UA job: “We had a little more than maybe what most people thought just because we recruited a little bit out here when I was at West Virginia and then a little bit more when I was at Michigan. Some of my coaches had experience coaching out west. But, it was still—to recruit the whole state was relatively new to us. Now, we have five coaches that are in the state of California. The state of Arizona and the state of California are kinda our two base states.”
• Rodriguez on the wide receivers: “They’re working…We’ve had some younger guys that have had to play. Nate Phillips and Samajie Grant are going to play for us. They’ve worked hard. But we don’t have the experience there that we’d like, but I think we will be OK.”
• Rodriguez on if the team has a short-yardage back this year like Taimi Tutogi: “No, not really. We don’t have that Taimi. I wish we did. But, (Daniel Jenkins) has some good size and Ka’Deem (Carey), he runs so strong that he gets a lot of short yardage stuff. So our thought is that those two guys in particular are the workhorses anyway, so let’s give them the ball.”
• Rodriguez on Derrick Turituri and other freshmen linebackers: “All three of those backers, we’ve probably talked about—Derrick Turituri, Scooby Wright and DeAndre Miller are going to play as freshmen. What roles? It’s going to be in different situations, but pretty excited about those.”
• Rodriguez on if Turituri will be a pass-rush specialist: “More so right now as he’s still learning. He’s also one of our better guys as a pass rusher because he’s so strong. I think he may be the strongest linebacker we got as a true freshman. He brings a lot to the table there.”