Arizona held its second day of fall camp, starting again at 6:15 a.m. at the Rincon Vista Complex. The Wildcats got the benefit of cloud cover for 45 minutes before it turned into a sunny, still, steamy morning.
Speaking of steamed …
Coach Mike Stoops, after seeing redshirt freshman safety Josh Robbins let receiver Dan Buckner slip down the sideline for a big gain in a 7-on-7 drill, came racing — and raging — across the field. It was a pretty healthy chewing out by Stoops, who had a relatively calm observational first day at practice.
Early drills without pads are tough on the defensive backs, not having the benefit of a real pass rush. But Stoops said he was pleased with his secondary against a talented group of quarterbacks and receivers. That’s strength against strength in Arizona’s practice.
“I really like what our secondary is doing right now. I think it is making our receivers and quarterbacks have to execute. Protection needs to improve on the offensive line. But I like our kids and I like the way they practice.”
He said it
“I have been really impressed with our defensive ends. I think they’re doing a great job. C.J. Parish and Mohammed Usman bring a lot of energy. They’re guys who haven’t played much but have been waiting for opportunities for five years to play. They want to take advantage of it, and that’s really exciting for me to see.” — Stoops
Freshman signee linebacker Domonique Petties hasn’t reported to camp, and it does not appear he will be eligible. Petties, from Duncan, Okla., had transcript and eligibility problems in high school, and Arizona has been unable to resolve those problems with the NCAA.
“We’ve exhausted a lot of time trying to get this process to work in our advantage, but it doesn’t always work,” Stoops said.
Petties was one of three high school linebackers to sign with Arizona in February, the others being Rob Hankins and Hank Hobson. Hankins arrived with the most fanfare, but Hobson might be the one to get a chance to play right away.
“Hank Hobson is a guy who I think can play early for us,” Stoops said. “I don’t know if we’ll play both of them.”
Hobson is listed as the backup to David Lopez at strongside linebacker, a position that often gets replaced in the lineup by the nickel back. Lopez, a junior college transfer, can also be used as a backup to Derek Earls at middle linebacker, thereby pushing Hankins to third string.
He said it, part II
“I like coaching tough guys. I like coaching guys that are conscientious. I like coaching guys who are dependable. I like coaching guys I can trust. Those are the qualities I look for in recruiting and those are the guys I enjoy to coach.” — Offensive line coach Robert Anae.
Arizona’s practice ended with the offense scoring a touchdown in a two-minute drill. The score came on a 30-yard pass as Nick Foles passed to a wide-open Dan Buckner, who had slipped past safety Marquis Flowers. … JC transfer linebacker David Lopez is wearing No. 18, a bit strange for a linebacker (but Xavier Kelley did wear No. 15 for the Cats). Anyway, what does Stoops like about Lopez so far? “Big guy. Very physical. Likes to play downhill.” … Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne stopped by practice for a look at the Wildcats. … Freshman defensive back Cortez Johnson did not dress out for the second consecutive day, but Stoops said he anticipates Johnson’s status to soon be resolved satisfactorily.