Arizona Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott has a new number. He hopes coaches don’t have to call it.
Scott, who has been rehabbing a shoulder injury for most of the offseason, opened Arizona’s spring practice Wednesday wearing No. 10. He has been No. 4 since arriving in Tucson from Centennial High in Corona, Calif.
“It is the number I wore in high school,” Scott said of No. 10.
“I wasn’t feeling the 4 anymore. I had to go back to 10. It just feels right.”
It also just feels right for Scott to redshirt this season as a senior behind Nick Foles and then come back and try to be the starter in 2012. That’s the “perfect world” plan in which Foles stays healthy. Foles’ backup this season would be senior Bryson Beirne, who also has switched his number, going from No. 17 to No. 7.
(Never fear … Foles is still No. 8.)
Scott wants to redshirt, and the coaches want him to redshirt, but he knows he has to prepare to play in case his team needs him.
“I wish I had a crystal ball and I could sit here and tell you I was going to (redshirt) or not, but we’re going to have to wait and see,” he said.
“I would prefer to redshirt because it would be in the best interests for me. I’m a team player and I like to help my team. But, at the end of the day, I still have to worry about my future.”
Scott just resumed throwing a couple of weeks ago and has been steadily increasing his workload. His injury problems started late in the UCLA game when he suffered an injury to his right wrist.
“After the UCLA game, I didn’t throw for a few weeks, just trying to get my wrist better,” he said.
“Then, when I was coming back, just trying to get out and throw again probably wasn’t good for my arm. I probably should have eased back into it more, but I was just too excited to be ready to go.”
Scott’s shoulder problems made him unavailable for the Alamo Bowl, when the offense struggled — as it did at various times during the season.
Now, Arizona is taking the best part of its offense last year — the fast-paced spread — and making that more of a base this spring.
“Our skill level has never been this high,” coach Mike Stoops said. “This is the best group of receivers we’ve ever had, and we have to get the ball in our playmakers’ hands.”
Arizona tried to balance the spread with a “heavy” running package last season, but that power game never developed.
“We’re trying to get the offense moving a little faster, and I think that is going to help us a lot, gas the defense,” Scott said.
“Last year, when we would get into late-game situations, we would go fast tempo, and that is when we really got out points. We moved the ball down the field pretty easily.”
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