There hasn’t been a quarterback battle in Arizona for a few years.
Nick Foles was one of the best to play the position for the Wildcats in quite some time and then last season, Matt Scott took over the wheel and exceeded expectations in season one under Rich Rodriguez.
Arizona spring practice in 2013 brings many story lines but the biggest may be who will be the next in line at quarterback. B.J. Denker, who is going into his senior season, was Scott’s back-up a season ago and saw some time under center, especially against Colorado.
Though he was the next in command for Arizona a year ago, Rodriguez has not handed him the job. And Denker likes it that way.
“That’s how I want it to be,” said Denker. “I don’t want the position given to me and I don’t think it should be because competition makes you a better player. It makes the team better. I’m fine with it being open and I don’t want him to give me the job. I want to earn it.”
“We don’t have a starter at quarterback,” Rodriguez mentioned. “We don’t have a starter at a lot of positions and won’t until well into camp and maybe into the week of the first game…There is a lot of football left.”
So who is Denker competing with? Redshirt freshman Javelle Allen is taking a lot of the snaps, JUCO transfer Jesse Scroggins is there despite the fact that he is battling a foot injury and come the fall, prized incoming freshman of the 2013 class Anu Solomon will compete for the job.
No, Denker hasn’t been handed the job, but he is leading all of the drills and taking most of the snaps with the first team in practice. And it is giving him the chance to become a vocal leader and earn the spot as he mentions he is striving for.
“Any time I get in at practice or in a game I am going to try and show him that I am the best quarterback for the job and he can win with me,” explained Denker. “Every snap is trying to be the best.”
“He has taken charge a bit and being a little more vocal but I don’t worry about the vocality as much if that’s the right word as much as the execution,” mentioned Rodriguez. “He’ll keep working to get better because it’s important to him.”
B.J. Denker and the Wildcats continue spring practices leading up to their annual spring game on April 13th.