Thursday, August 5, 2010
Opening camp: Arizona
By ESPN.com staff
Arizona opens preseason camp today. Here's a quick look.
Who's back: Eight starters on offense, four on defense and both specialists.
Big names: QB Nick Foles, WR Juron Criner, C Colin Baxter, CB Trevin Wade, DE Ricky Elmore, DE Brooks Reed
What's new: The Wildcats lost both coordinators during the offseason. Offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes is now the head coach of Louisiana Tech. Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops is the coordinator at Florida State. They were both replaced by co-coordinators: Bill Bedenbaugh (offensive line) and Seth Littrell (running backs and tight ends) on offense and Tim Kish (linebackers) and Greg Brown (secondary) on defense. Littrell will call the offensive plays. Brown is the only one of the four who is new to the staff -- he was at Colorado in 2009. Also, Frank Scelfo is the new QBs coach. Beyond the football staff, Arizona has a new athletic director: Greg Byrne, who was hired away from Mississippi State.
Key competition: There isn't too much intrigue heading into fall camp, though the pecking order at defensive tackle is worth watching. As for the official depth chart, Vaughn Dotsy and Jovon Hayes are competing at right guard as are Phillip Garcia and Jack Julsing at right tackle. Is Nic Grigsby going to stay healthy and remain No. 1 ahead of Keola Antolin at tailback? The weakside LB spot is unsettled between Paul Vassallo and R.J. Young.
Breaking out: The 6-foot-4 Criner has a chance to be an All-Conference performer. 258-pound H-back Taimi Tutogi had a good spring and figures to help the offense in myriad ways as a runner, blocker and receiver. Who will get more sacks: Elmore or Reed? The over-under for the pair is 18.
Quote: Coach Mike Stoops on exceeding preseason expectations but then flopping in the Holiday Bowl against Nebraska: "Last year that was a little bit of a question mark for this team and a lot of people questioned our ability in picking us preseason eighth, but we finished tied for second and went to the Holiday Bowl. This is a team that I thought really achieved some good things last season and I think the loss in the Holiday Bowl really humbled us and fueled us in the offseason. We realized how quickly things can disintegrate if we don’t do things right. I think we are eager to get back out on the field and correct some of those things."
Notes: Arizona will hold most of its training camp practices at the Rincon Vista Complex, located near the school's soccer and track facilities on 15th Street and Plumer Ave. The newly renovated Jimenez Practice facility on campus will host its first practice later this month. The Wildcats will be at Ft. Huachuca from Aug. 11-15... Cornerback Shaquille Richardson, one of the three UCLA signees who was kicked off the team last month after being arrested for stealing a purse, is now with the Wildcats... Receiver Delashaun Dean, who had caught 132 passes over the past three seasons, was given the boot after being arrested on a gun charge. He has transferred to Texas A&M-Kingsville.