Representatives from 25 NFL teams will travel to Tucson today to watch the UA’s pro prospects up close during the school’s annual pro day.
Translation: 25 NFL teams will be at the UA today to see running back Ka’Deem Carey.
OK, so that may be a bit of an overstatement. But Carey will certainly be the main attraction this morning at Arizona Stadium. NFL coaches and scouts will have their stopwatches and notepads out to watch Arizona’s seniors and the junior Carey, who declared early for the draft.
Carey was the lone Wildcat invited to last month’s NFL combine in Indianapolis, and is the only lock to be selected in May’s draft. The UA is in danger of producing back-to-back senior classes with no NFL draft picks.
Of course, there are a couple of players who still hope to change that and get their first real opportunity to make an impression on NFL personnel today.
“It absolutely helps having Ka’Deem out there,” linebacker Marquis Flowers said.
“He brings people out. When I was in high school, scouts from colleges came out, and it helped out other guys on my team. Now it’s the same thing with Ka’Deem. A scout there to see Ka’Deem may look over and see me. It’s good to have that.”
Flowers, a two-year starter at linebacker after being moved from safety, is one of the fringe prospects for the UA. He has spent the past month working out with renowned trainer Tom Show in Orlando, along with former teammate Shaq Richardson and other NFL draft prospects.
Richardson, a cornerback, is in the same boat as Flowers. Neither player was invited to the combine, and both have an outside chance at being drafted.
Today is their chance to impress.
“This is our combine,” Flowers said. “You want to go out there and turn some heads.”
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said he thought Flowers, Richardson and possibly receiver Terrence Miller should be able to latch on with NFL teams either as late-round picks or undrafted free agents.
Today is also a chance for Carey to improve on his 40-yard dash time, which was clocked at 4.70 at the combine.
“Whether they test well tomorrow or not, I do think when you watch the film, you’ll find out they’re pretty good players,” Rodriguez said of Flowers, Richardson and Miller.
“That’s like Ka’Deem. I’ve said this before, but he may not have the best 40 time, but when you turn on the film, I don’t think there’s a better running back in the country.”
Richardson, who was listed on the Arizona roster at 6 feet 1 inch and 188 pounds, is an intriguing prospect because of his size.
He had a strong week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game in January and drew strong reviews from several scouts.
“He told me today he’s at 196 pounds,” Rodriguez said of Richardson. “He feels good, he’s going to run well, and he’s got a lot of experience. I think he’s got a shot.”
Proposed substitution rule tabled by NCAA
Rodriguez earned his first victory of 2014 on Wednesday, when the NCAA decided to table a proposed rule that would have given defenses 10 seconds to substitute on every play. The proposal was supposed to be voted on today by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, but was taken off the agenda before the panel had a chance to vote.
Rodriguez had been outspoken about the possible change, in part because he thought it challenged a fundamental rule of football.
He won’t have to worry about it anymore.
“I thought it would go to a vote tomorrow and it would be voted down, but to pull it out, I think the committee did a wise thing and realized it was a thing at this point that doesn’t need to go forward,” Rodriguez said.
“It’s good. We’ll see where it goes from this point. But I think there was enough outcry and enough facts out there that showed that this wasn’t a good time to implement the rule.”
Rodriguez joked that the Wildcats will now work to get every snap off before 10 seconds have run off the play clock.
“Yeah, that’s our goal — play faster,” Rodriguez said.
Arizona season ticket holders have until Friday to renew their tickets for the 2014 season at the same price they paid in 2013.
After Friday, ticket holders in select sections will see an increase because Arizona plays an extra home game this season.
Moving forward, adult season tickets start at $99. There is also a youth season ticket plan (12 and under) for $50.
For more information, visit www.arizonawildcats.com/renewals or call 621-2287.