Spring games are mostly for the hardest of hard core football fans, or for people that just miss football and are ready for it to be back.
They mean almost nothing and it’s kind of hard to tell all that much from anything that happens in them. But, Arizona had one of the more interesting of all the scrimmages this Spring.
The Wildcats have a huge problem trying to replace outstanding QB B.J. Denker and even more outstanding RB Ka’Deem Carey. Losing Carey is particularly large considering he rushed for 4239 yards and 48 TDs for Arizona.
The Wildcats have a large number of prospects trying to take Denker’s old job.
Jesse Scroggins is probably the leader right now but we have a long way to go till the Fall. Scroggins was a former hot shot recruit that signed with USC and one of the top QBs in the country. He hasn’t played a meaningful snap of football since high school in 2009. But, if the scrimmage was any indication, Scroggins still has some skills and can run and throw pretty well.
Anu Solomon played after Scroggins. He’s a redshirt freshman out of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School. Solomon showed some promise but was really inconsistent. Long term, he could be the answer, but may need more seasoning.
Connor Brewer, the transfer from Texas appeared to be the 3rd string guy. He would be starting if he had stayed at Texas, but he has his work cut out for him if is going to win this competition. He had his moments during the scrimmage including a TD pass to Caleb Jones another Texas transfer who would also be starting at Texas.
Jerrard Randall is one of the more intriguing prospects at QB. Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota and Jerrard Randall were all committed to Oregon at one time. Mariota is the only one that stuck. Randall signed with LSU. He was a 4 star recruit and the #8 ranked QB in his class behind Jeff Driskel, Max Wittek, Braxton Miller, and Brett Hundley. Also, ranked just ahead of Teddy Bridgewater, J. W. Walsh and David Ash. In a slap in the face to recruiting rankings, Johnny Manziel was rated #39. Randall left LSU after 2 seasons and headed to Northeast Mississippi CC where he played in 2013. He’s got some talent, but not sure he can beat out the rest of the possible QBs.
Nick Isham was next in line at QB for the Wildcats. Isham was on the team last season after transferring from Louisiana Tech, and was the holder for the Field Goal team. He has little chance at starting, but he appears to be very intense and competitive. Some might describe him as gritty.
Khari McGee was yet another QB in the mix. He is a tall and very athletic redshirt freshman. He can run and he definitely has an arm, but does he have leadership skills and the other intangibles to run a team’s offense. Hard to say with this much competition.
To make matters even more confusing, they have Brandon Dawkins coming in the Fall. He is a 6-4, 200 4 star recruit out of Westlake Village, California. I don’t comment on any of these guys without watching videos of them play, and Dawkins could complicate matters even further on the starting QB at Arizona. He should hopefully redshirt.
Austin Hill missed all of 2013 but is back for his senior season. He caught 81 passes for 1364 yards and 11 TDs. Hill is big time and will definitely help the new QB out.
Nate Phillips and Samajie Grant were the leading receivers last season as freshmen. Trey Griffey is just now coming into his own and Texas transfer Caleb Jones is really good. David Richards and Johnny Jackson are also back. Throw in Clive Georges and Devonte Neal and you have a ton of receivers fighting for the ball.
Either the offense if very good at Arizona or the defense is very bad. Looks like Terris Jones-Grigsby will be the starter at Running Back. Arizona has a pair of giants at Offensive Tackle in Mickey Baucus and Fabbians Ebbele standing 6-8 each and over 300 pounds.
Defense didn’t show a lot in this scrimmage. They run a 3-3-5 and the best players are probably Reggie Gilbert a defensive lineman, Scooby Wright at LB, plus Jared Tevis and Tra’Mayne Bondurant in the defensive backfield. Bondurant plays what they call the spur position which is a safety/lb hybrid.