The story will be sanitized over time, cleaned up when Garic Wharton tells it to his friends and family in Las Vegas, and — eventually — to his own kids and grandkids.

What’s a tiny detail worth, anyway?

Wharton caught a career-high three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown the UA’s 52-17 win over Washington last week, a breakout performance that was as unlikely — and unexpected — as any on the team this year. His 33-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Matt Scott was a thing of beauty, a fourth-and-3 conversion that became with a cut and a dash, arguably, the most electrifying offensive highlight of the game.

Except that, well … 

“He ran the wrong route,” Scott said with a smile. “He was supposed to go deep, I guess, but he ended up finding his way there.”

Found his way. There’s no better way to explain how the 5-foot-11-inch, 164-pound Wharton has gone from scout team to possible starter in a matter of weeks.

The speedy sophomore figures to play a lot at slot receiver when the Wildcats host No. 10 USC Saturday night at Arizona Stadium. The game will pose the latest big test for the Wildcats (4-3 overall, 1-3 Pac-12), who are looking to finish the 2012 season on a winning note.

Read more about Wharton in Thursday's Arizona Daily Star.