Pac-12: Troy Walters

The first round of spring games in the Pac-12 kicks off Saturday with Colorado, Arizona and Stanford. All three games are free to the public. Here’s a primer on what you need to know.

Arizona

Where: Arizona Stadium
Kickoff: 1 p.m. MST
TV: Pac-12 Network (replays throughout the week)


What to watch: The Wildcats are in the hunt for a new quarterback to replace B.J. Denker and a new running back to replace Ka'Deem Carey. Rich Rodriguez hasn’t said much on the quarterback front, with Anu Solomon, Connor Brewer, Jesse Scroggins, Jerrard Randall and Nick Isham. Per Rodriguez, “one through five is pretty much bunched up.” You read that right --- one through five! How those reps all get divided will be very telling if Rodriguez is leaning one way. Or you could just crush some tea leaves and check the planetary alignment. Because right now, those make as much sense as any guesswork. One note about returning wide receiver Austin Hill, a 2012 Biletnikoff Award semifinalist who missed all of last season with a knee injury: “He won’t play a whole lot,” Rodriguez said. “He played a lot in spring. We will give him a couple series. He is a proven veteran and we know what we have in him. He’s slowly getting his confidence back. He’s 100 percent, but there’s a transition period in getting your confidence back.” … There will also be a celebrity/alumni flag football game kicking off at 11:15 a.m.

Colorado

Where: Folsom Field
Kickoff: Noon MST
TV: Pac-12 Network (replays throughout the week)

What to watch: Obviously, there is going to be a lot of attention at wide receiver to see who steps in for the departed Paul Richardson. The Buffs are eyeballing a rotation/committee of D.D. Goodson, Devin Ross, Bryce Bobo and Elijah Dunston. There is no Richardson out there. So, as Colorado wide receivers coach Troy Walters recently said: “We’re going to have to do it collectively … if we get two or three guys to do with P-Rich did, then we’ll be in good shape.” Richardson caught 83 passes for 1,343 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. On the other side of the ball, guarding those receivers has been an interesting power struggle. The Buffs look set at their two starting cornerback spots with Greg Henderson and Kenneth Crawley. But developing depth has sparked a pretty good competition with Chidobe Awuzie and juco transfer Ahkello Witherspoon. (Colorado is quickly making a push to contend for the Pac-12 blog’s all-scrabble team.) … After the game, Colorado will host a Healthy Kids Day. Children can go through fitness stations with athletes from all of Colorado’s sports programs and get a free T-shirt.

Stanford

Where: Stanford Stadium
Kickoff: 1 p.m. PST (fan activities begin at 12:15)
TV: Pac-12 Network (replays throughout the week)

What to watch: How will the running back carries be divided? With Remound Wright suspended for the second half of spring practice, that opens the door for Kelsey Young, Barry Sanders and Ricky Seale to get some extra work. The Cardinal are trying to replace Tyler Gaffney, who carried 330 times for 1,709 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Recall a year earlier, they were trying to replace Stepfan Taylor and his 322 carries, 1,530 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Cardinal have used bell cows the last couple of seasons, though head coach David Shaw told the Pac-12 blog he’d prefer to have multiple guys working in a committee – similar to the stable of the 2011 group. Keep an eye on the offensive line as well. All five projected starters are from the much-heralded 2012 recruiting class. … All players will be available after the game to sign autographs.

Offseason spotlight: Colorado

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
9:00
AM ET
We're taking a look at a player from each Pac-12 team who could step into the spotlight in 2014.

Spotlight: WR D.D. Goodson, 5-foot-6, 170 pounds, Sr.

2013 summary: Goodson caught 22 passes for 306 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The skinny: Stability isn’t something D.D. Goodson has been privileged to during his time at Colorado. He started at defensive back under former coach John Embree, switched to running back as a sophomore and then to wide receiver, at his request, when Mike MacIntyre’s new staff arrived in 2012.

With Paul Richardson on the team, there wasn’t necessarily the need for immediate production from Goodson, but now that Richardson -- and his 83 catches for 1,343 yards -- is off to the NFL, he is expected to play a much bigger role.

It’s an opportunity Goodson is highly anticipating.

“I want to chase records set by receivers in school history,” he said. “And I want to be more of a vocal leader rather than just leading by example.”

The second part is something he’s already got down, according to receivers coach Troy Walters, who won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as a senior at Stanford in 1999.

“He’s probably the hardest worker on the team,” Walters said. “When other guys are winded and bending over [during conditioning], he’s the one holding them up, getting them to the next station. He’s at the front of the line in gassers.

“He just has that chip on his shoulder to prove he can be a great player.”

Walters said Goodson’s strengths are his hands, finding open zones in the defense and what he can do after the catch, which he attributed to his background at running back.

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