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Arizona football notes: QB leaves, new ends, best-ever receivers

Cam Allerheiligen

Arizona Wildcats backup quarterback Cam Allerheiligen has left the team and intends to play baseball at a junior college, coach Mike Stoops said Wednesday.

Allerheiligen, who redshirted last season as a freshman, was one of five quarterbacks on scholarship for the Wildcats. Allerheiligen, from Keller (Texas) High, had been a late addition to UA’s 2010 recruiting class after Matt Brown de-committed in order to sign with TCU.

So, in terms of quarterback transactions since the end of last season, Arizona lost Allerheiligen and is bringing in former Rutgers starter Tom Savage, who will be eligible in 2012.

Senior Nick Foles is first string for the Wildcats, followed by senior Matt Scott (who hopes to use his redshirt season in 2011) and senior Bryson Beirne. True freshman Daxx Garman enrolled early and is going through spring ball. Savage will be a junior in 2012.

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Arizona’s main area of concern on defense is end, where the Wildcats lose Brooks Reed, Ricky Elmore and D’Aundre Reed.

For now, the main three guys getting the spring reps are senior Mohammed Usman, senior C.J. Parish and redshirt freshman Dan Pettinato.

“I really like what Dan is doing,” coach Mike Stoops said. “Mohammed, I think, is a very explosive player. It’s a group we really haven’t heard much about, but I still like their talent.”

Throughout spring, Stoops will also experiment with his overflow of defensive tackles at end. He said “we’re three deep inside” and that includes guys like Justin Washington, Sione Tuihalamaka, Willie Mobley, Dominique Austin, Chris Merrill, Jowyn Ward and some younger players.

Washington, who underwent offseason surgery for a cartilage tear in his shoulder, will be limited this spring, but he will stay anchored at defensive tackle after a promising freshman season.

“I’m stingy,” joked first-year defensive tackles Joe Salave’a of giving up any of his defensive tackles.

“We need to make sure we give the guys reps inside and see what they’re capable of and what they’re weaknesses are, and go from there.

“You have to master one thing. If you try to master two things, then what happens is you’re not good at one thing. But if the head man wants one of these guys out there, he’ll get it. … A big part of this team is position flexibility. We’ll do whatever it takes.”

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Stoops, in his seventh season at Arizona, says this is the best group of receivers he has had, and it starts with senior Juron Criner.

Veterans David Douglas and Dave Roberts return, promising sophomores Richard Morrison and Terrence Miller are back, freshmen Austin Hill and Tyler Slavin are coming off redshirt seasons … and Texas transfer Dan Buckner becomes eligible.

“The whole group is pretty special,” Stoops said.

“Dan, it’s fun to see him out there competing, knowing that he is going to be on the field this fall. He’s an extreme talent. He’s a competitor. And that is the thing I like about him.”

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