The Arizona Wildcats football team participated in their annual Spring Game on Saturday from Arizona Stadium. Here were some of the biggest takeaways from the game.
Quarterback Carousel: We all know that the quarterback situation is the biggest storyline of the 2014 Wildcats until Rich Rodriguez finally announces a starter. In fact he stated that he doesn’t plan to name a starter until “minutes before the first game. Maybe even seconds before.” Arizona played a total of seven quarterbacks in the spring game and it will really will come down to three or maybe four. The one that stood out most to me in the game was Jesse Scroggins. He just looks the part more so than the others, he showed good poise and decision making and happened to be the first quarterback to play in the game. He did however have some moments that showed why he wasn’t the starter or the back-up last season with a few of his throws. If I had to name a top three, Scroggins was followed by Connor Brewer and Anu Solomon in no particular order. I was informed that with every quarterback that Rodriguez has had play for him for a second straight season, they were named an All-Conference player in that second year. That could be a good reason to start one of the younger guys like a Brewer or Soloman to develop for the future while also playing in the present.
Carry On after Carey: We all know the second biggest storyline surrounding the 2014 Wildcats is who will be the replacement for All-American Ka’Deem Carey at running back. Saturday’s spring game gave us an indication of who could be next in line. The running back that seemed to make the biggest plays in the game was a senior and former walk-on, Terris Jones-Grigsby. He lead the team in rushing with six carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. The player that I thought has the most potential to be a big playmaker was redshirt freshman from San Diego, Pierre Cormier. He had some great moves and on a few plays, made something out of nothing.
Get the ball outside: Standing on the sidelines, it is hard not to be in awe of the size and athleticism of the Arizona wide receivers. You are looking at Austin Hill (returning from injury), Cayleb Jones, David Richards and Trey Griffey who all stand 6-3 or taller. Then you have dynamic speed guys like DaVonté Neal, Gharic Wharton and Samaje Grant and cant forget Nate Phillips who was the most reliable receiver on the roster last season (did not play in the spring game). Of course the question is who will get them the football but it is very safe to say that the strength of this team is it’s receiving core.
Defensive standouts: Defense is part of the game too! And it will be a part of this team that will continue to look to improve since Rich Rodriguez took over the program. The receiving core is the strength of the offense, but for the defense, I see it being the linebackers. Scooby Wright broke out as a important piece for this team playing substantial minutes as a true freshman. With Jake Fischer gone, I see him as the guy taking over in the leadership role and wrack up up a ton of tackles. There was one name that I heard three different players single out as someone who has stood out this spring and that is DeAndre Miller. The former Buckeye High School product was a man amongst boys at the prep level and is transitioning very well at the next level. Could be a breakout player in 2014.
The Wildcats kick-off their 2014 season at home on Friday, August 29th against UNLV.