Austin Hill has this thing about standards.
Ask the Arizona Wildcats wide receiver to set a goal, and he'll pick something so insanely high that few players can ever dream of reaching it. Talk about his accomplishments, and Hill will mention his few mistakes.
"I'm a little hard on myself," he said with a shrug. "I like to go out and do the best I can. The only goal I really set is no drops … but I'm already not living up to that."
Hill has been a breakout star through the first half of the Wildcats' season, even though his eight drops bother him. He's not alone: The UA (3-3 overall, 0-3 Pac-12) has received serious contributions from a handful of guys once thought to be, at best, role players.
Here's a look at five of them:
Stats: Bundage has played in five of the Wildcats' six games so far this season.
Known for: Playing right away
Details: Who says true freshmen can't contribute? Bundage has played admirably on a veteran offensive line this season, a tall task given Arizona's depth on that side of the ball. Consider: Of the 10 true freshmen to see the field this year, Bundage is the only one who plays offense.
Position: Inside receiver
Stats: In five games, Jackson has caught 18 passes for 152 yards.
Known for: The best quarter ever
Details: The sophomore receiver caught a career-high 10 passes for 75 yards in the Wildcats' 54-48 overtime loss to Stanford. Nine of Jackson's catches - and 67 of his yards - came during a splendid second quarter; four went for first downs.
The performance was validation for Jackson, a walk-on who was limited to seven catches and 77 yards in the first five games. Coach Rich Rodriguez said Jackson is in line to start.
"No question," he said.
Position: Inside receiver
Stats: In six games, five of them starts, Hill has caught a team-high 42 passes for 608 yards. His five touchdowns are more than any other two Wildcats receivers combined.
Known for: Being Arizona's best inside receiving threat since Rob Gronkowski
Details: Hill initially resisted the move inside, where he'd be treated more like a fast tight end than a flanker-type receiver. But the switch has turned out to be a brilliant one. Hill already has more receiving yards (608) through six games than all but three of Arizona's receivers had in all of 2011.
Position: Nose tackle
Stats: In six games, and one start, Hood has six total tackles.
Known for: Taking the long way
Details: Hood might be the Wildcats' most unlikely contributor this season. The walk-on spent his first two seasons at Duke and the University of San Diego, respectively, before a chance encounter with Rodriguez prompted him to consider the Wildcats. Hood enrolled in January with plans to sit out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer rules; a waiver granted over the summer allowed him to play right away. Hood's emergence adds an extra wrinkle to the Territorial Cup game: Hood's younger brother, Jaxon, plays at Arizona State.
Position: "Bandit" safety
Stats: In five starts, Tevis - a former Canyon del Oro High School star - has registered 42 tackles and one sack. He has also intercepted two passes.
Known for: Surviving a grisly injury
Details: Tevis severely sprained his left ankle while covering a pass in the first quarter of Arizona's Week 5 loss to Oregon State. Not only did Tevis survive the nasty roll - his foot folded underneath his ankle, which was pinned against the turf - he returned later in the game. The experience underscores just how tough Tevis is: Though he didn't play against Stanford last week, he could return as soon as next week to face Washington.
On StarNet: Follow the Wildcats through the second half of the season at azstarnet.com/finley
• Who: Washington (3-2, 1-1) at Arizona (3-3, 0-3)
• When 7 p.m., Oct. 20
• TV: Pac-12 Arizona
• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)