Arizona Wildcats football: News and notes from the opening practice of fall camp

2013-08-03T23:15:00Z 2013-08-03T23:26:29Z Arizona Wildcats football: News and notes from the opening practice of fall campDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 03, 2013 11:15 pm  • 

The 2013 football season is officially off and running.

The Arizona Wildcats completed their first practice of fall camp tonight at Kindall/Sancet Stadium. The team went through a two-plus hour workout to get things going.

For full coverage, read Sunday's Star, but until then, here are a few news, notes and quotes from the opening night.

• Quarterback Jesse Scroggins sat out the practice after suffering a concussion recently in the weight room. Coach Rich Rodriguez said he wasn't cleared for Saturday's opener, but is hopeful he'll be ready to go by tomorrow. Scroggins missed most of spring drills recovering from offseason foot surgery.

• Former Texas QB Connor Brewer was in uniform and practiced with the UA. He committed to the Wildcats last Monday and was hopeful he'd be with the team in time for the first practice, which he was. He mostly worked with the scout team and will sit out this year, per NCAA rules. His former high school teammate Davonte' Neal also practiced. He's petitioning to play right away after transferring from Notre Dame, but it's not likely that will happen.

• Receiver David Richards didn't participate in practice and was on crutches with his left foot in a walking boot. He had offseason surgery and it's not yet known when he'll return.

• QB B.J. Denker worked with the first team. He didn't have the best practice and Rodriguez kept him off limits from reporters after the session. However, the coach cautioned not to read too much into it and thought Denker would be fine going forward. 

• The first-team offensive line looked like this: Tackles: Mickey Baucus and Fabbians Ebbele. Guards: Chris Putton and Cayman Bundage. Center: Jacob Arzouman. 

 • The first-team receivers were Terrence Miller, Garic Wharton and Johnny Jackson. Of course, with the line and receivers, it's probably way too early to read into anything, but interesting nonetheless who is getting the most work.

• The defense was ahead of the offense during the first practice. Jared Tevis and Tra'Mayne Bondurant were both very active in the secondary and making plays. Also, cornerbacks Jonathan McKnight and Shaquille Richardson and linebacker Marquis Flowers-all players who missed time in the spring recovering from injuries-were full-go and looked healthy.

Some quotes from the participants:

• Rodriguez on what he looks for from his QBs on day one: "Execution. I could tell if worked on their game throughout the summer by execution or lack thereof. I saw some today and a lack thereof today as well."

• Rodriguez on his defense: "I think we're better defensively, which I thought we would be. The guys moving around a little bit, understanding things better. We have more competition on defense. We could line up three units and compete."

• Rodriguez on first practices: "I've had 20 first practices to varying degrees. It doesn't mean where we're going to be a week from now."

• Baucus on the first practice: "We had some good effort, but we have a long way to go obviously. We had some young guys showing what they can do and some experienced guys that picked up where they left off. We want to see effort. We can fix technique and we can fix assignments, but we can't fix effort. It's important for the young guys to come in here and pick up the speed of the game. It's a big change."

• Baucus on Rodriguez: "You can always tell when 'Coach Rod' isn't pleased. I don't know if it was loafing or not being as prepared as we needed to be from over the summer, but we got a month until we play NAU and got a month to get it right and that's what we plan on doing."

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About this blog

Daniel Berk began covering UA football in 2013 after spending two-plus years as the Star's high school sports coordinator. Previously, he served as the sports editor and NAU beat writer for the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff for three years.

A University of Kansas graduate and St. Louis native, Berk is still getting used to 350 days of sunshine, the relentless "dry heat" of the summer and the fact that Tucson doesn't have a real hockey rink.

Contact Daniel at dberk@azstarnet.com or by calling 573-4330. Follow him on Twitter @DSBerk.

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