Pac-12 Media Day always serves as sort of a bench mark for the start of the college football season. Arizona will go to camp in a week, but first Rich Rodriguez and two players, Austin Hill and Jared Tevis, had to travel to Los Angeles to speak with the media.
This year the event was held at Paramount Studios, adding even more Hollywood flash to the proceedings.
Of course the biggest question was who was going to play quarterback, and Rodriguez had no answers. The Cats will enter fall camp with four players comepeting for the spot and the plan is for all four to get equal reps for the first few weeks, though Rodriguez admitted that they need to narrow things down to one or two by game week.
“We may not know by first game, but the talent is there,” Rodriguez told the Pac-12 Network.
Rodriguez went so far as to say that the starting job may not be decided until they get into the season.
“It may not be settled until after the first game or two,” Rodriguez said. “But I think the talent is there, and that's a good thing.”
The real news came from the roster that was released by the school. The most notable news is that three incoming freshmen were not listed on the roster. DB Devon Brewer and TE Darrell Cloy have academic issues the will prevent them from enrolling. The feeling is that they will head to prep school to get them sorted out and could enroll in January. It is the same path that freshman Tyrell Johnson took.
DB Jace Whittaker has a knee injury that will cause him to miss the season. He too is expected to enroll in January.
Former Sahuaro standout Niko Kittrell is on the roster. The former San Jose State player transferred to Arizona in the spring, but the thought was that he would not be put on the roster until after the season, but there was room to add him and he could be a valuable member of the scout team this season. Kittrell was on scholarship at SJSU.
One other interesting note is that Cam Denson is being listed at corner back. Rodriguez mentioned he would see action at corner, but on signing day Rodriguez said the Salpointe product would start out at WR, but with a numbers crunch there, the highly touted local product will start out at a real need position.
A lot of time was devoted to Austin Hill and his comeback from a severe knee injury. The other hot topic was how does Arizona replace Ka’Deem Carey and the answer seemed to be “not easily.”
“Well, we won't have one guy that can carry the ball as much as Ka'Deem did, 30 or 35, or in the Oregon game, 48 times,” Rodriguez said. “We just don't have that one guy in our program right now that can do what Ka'Deem did. But that being said, there is some talent that can do it. And there are three or four, maybe even five different guys carrying the ball as opposed to what Ka'Deem did last year.”
There seemed to be some real confidence in the defense, where Rodriguez feels they finally have the depth that they need. He said they could play 20 different players on defense and also explained that they have enough talent to finally allow Defensive Coordinator Jeff Casteel to “do some creative things.”