SHREVEPORT, La. — Rich Rodriguez is a self-proclaimed “stockpiler of quarterbacks.” In his eyes, a team can never have enough signal-callers on its roster.
Saturday was a good reminder why.
Rodriguez told the Star after the UA’s bowl practice that redshirt freshman Javelle Allen has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team policies.
Allen, a product of Prosper, Texas, served as the No. 2 quarterback all season behind B.J. Denker and was set to compete for the starting job next year. Instead, the 6-foot-2-inch, 218-pound quarterback is off the team.
Rodriguez didn’t elaborate on which rules Allen violated.
Allen played sparingly in five games this season. The highlight of his year came in the season opener against NAU when he had a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Allen had eight carries for 79 yards on the season. He was 0 for 1 passing.
Rodriguez said either junior Jesse Scroggins or sophomore Nick Isham will serve as Denker’s backup in Tuesday’s AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
“It will be an either-or deal with those two,” Rodriguez said.
Both Scroggins and Isham worked with the second unit during Saturday’s bowl practice. Neither quarterback has played an offensive snap this season.
Scroggins didn’t dress for the UA’s home game against UTSA in September because of a discipline issue and then was left off the travel roster a week later when the Wildcats played at Washington. He’s been on the active roster for every game since but hasn’t seen any action.
Isham served as the holder during the regular season but never played a down at quarterback. If Isham does get in on Tuesday, it wouldn’t be the first time he has played college ball in Louisiana.
The Calabasas, Calif., native transferred to Arizona from Louisiana Tech. He threw for 1,457 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions as a freshman for the Bulldogs, before departing for Tucson.
Allen was the third player to commit to Rodriguez after the coach was hired at Arizona. Linebackers C.J. Dozier and Dakota Conwell committed to the UA before him. Both retired from football before the season after sustaining several concussions.
Seniors Washington, Bender-Ramsay move on
Allen isn’t the only one off Arizona’s roster.
Seniors Justin Washington and Eric Bender-Ramsay didn’t travel to Shreveport with Arizona for the AdvoCare Bowl and are no longer with the program.
Washington, a reserve defensive lineman, played in all 12 games during the regular season and had 13 tackles, including 3½ for a loss. He also had a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.
Bender-Ramsay, a backup offensive lineman, played on special teams.
Rodriguez said both players have already graduated from the UA and decided to end their football careers.
“It was kinda a mutual thing,” Rodriguez said. “It was time for them to move on and time for us to move on.”
Washington had a strong start to his UA career under Mike Stoops and started nine games as a redshirt freshman in 2010. He was named a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News and had 11½ tackles-for-loss and six sacks. He started six games in 2011 but then ran into some trouble last season in Rodriguez’s first campaign.
He was suspended by the coach in August and was buried on the depth chart.
He eventually played in eight games and started three at defensive end. He had 18 tackles.
The Cypress, Texas, native earned more playing time as this season went on and served as a game captain against Washington and then again against Washington State last month.
Bender-Ramsay, a native of Carson, Calif., was used mostly on point-after attempts.
Rodriguez said wide receiver Austin Hill won’t play Tuesday against Boston College.
Hill sat out the regular season after tearing his ACL in the spring, but he was holding out hope he could suit up for the bowl game.
Instead, the Wildcats will shut him down, and he’ll start to prepare for his senior season.
Hill did travel with the Wildcats to Shreveport and went through the individual portions of practice on Saturday but isn’t game-ready.
Rodriguez also confirmed that reserve running back Jared Baker tore his ACL in the regular season finale against ASU. The coach said Baker has already had surgery and will miss all of spring drills. Baker had 27 carries for 127 yards during the regular season.
He served as one of the team’s primary kick returners and had nine returns for 210 yards. Rodriguez said Samajie Grant, Daniel Jenkins and Johnny Jackson will likely handle returns against Boston College.
Magee back home, sort of
It’s been a while since associate head coach and co-offensive coordinator Calvin Magee, a New Orleans native, spent time in Shreveport.
“Back in high school, we used to play in basketball tournaments up here, and it was always a blast,” Magee said. “That was a long time ago though.”
Magee prepped at the now closed Booker T. Washington High School in New Orleans, before playing at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.
The coach and his wife, Rosie, still have a lot of family in the New Orleans area, and Magee said they’re all hoping to head north to Shreveport for Tuesday’s game.
“I think they’re trying to surprise me,” the coach said.
Magee has been an assistant of Rodriguez’s for 12 seasons, at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona.