Moredich: A deceptively small big-hitterby John Moredich on Aug. 20, 2008, under Sports
Arizona defensive back Marquis Hundley doesn’t exactly look like someone who will smack a receiver around, but safety Nate Ness emphasizes the senior will hit you.
“I’m telling you he is a banger,” Ness said. “He is a physical corner and he loves to hit. He hits hard.”
Arizona’s receiving units have been finding out in full force throughout fall camp how tough the 6-foot, 175-pound Hundley can be.
Hundley might have done too much of late, as he missed Tuesday’s practice with a groin injury that has him day to day.
Hundley, who transferred from Santa Rosa (Calif.) College last year, doesn’t shy away from taller receivers.
In practice, despite a 4-inch disadvantage, he went up on a pass play against receiver Delashaun Dean in the end zone.
Dean pushed and shoved on the play, but not as much as Hundley, and the ball bounced harmlessly to the ground.
“Don’t look at him and think he is not going to get in on you. He will,” UA defensive coordinator Mark Stoops said. “It might be kind of deceptive but he will play you as tough as anybody.”
Hundley, who will help replace 2007 Jim Thorpe Award winner Antoine Cason, has the speed to go head to head with top receivers.
He will also push and shove a little, within the rules, of course.
“He likes to get in there and get dirty with players and real physical,” Ness said. “At times he reminds me of Antoine because Antoine liked to get physical. They like to jack the receivers up.”
Hundley, after playing sparingly on special teams last season, has been the clear-cut leader with the first team unit throughout fall camp.
There wasn’t much of a chance to see time with the defense a year ago. Hundley spent the majority of games watching Cason and former four-year starting corner Wilrey Fontenot play.
He watched how they moved, their footwork and what they got away with during man-to-man coverage.
“To be a good corner, you have to be good at technique if you want to play. I learned from one of the best in Antoine,” Hundley said. “I didn’t play because he was here, but you can’t get too mad. You knew he was going to play. I just tried to learn as much as I could.”
Hundley’s responsibilities will be not just getting the job done down the field, but at the line as well.
“I can play the run game good because (at my position) you need to come up and hit,” Hundley said.
In practice, Hundley is getting plenty of challenges with the Wildcats regularly using four-receiver sets.
“Our receivers are really good. It helps my confidence a lot,” Hundley said. “We have different types of routes, big receivers, little receivers. We have them all. It helps me get ready for the games.”
Height: 6 feet
2007 stats: Seven tackles and one pass broken up in 12 games
High school: Graduated from Napa (Calif.) High in 2005
SEASON OPENER: Idaho at Arizona, 7 p.m. Aug. 30.