Perhaps all you need to get fired up for the Arizona Wildcats season is the above video.
Nick Foles is the face of the Arizona program (more below on how that face looks) and he has the talent to be the first Wildcat drafted as a quarterback since backup John Conner in the 10th round of the 1985 draft (more on that below, too).
“Even more confidence,” quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo said of changes in Foles from last season.
“He’s embraced the leadership role, and it’s coming out. That’s the big thing. He wants this. … He wants to win right now, and he feels we can do that. He believes in these guys. He says this is the closest group of guys since he’s been there. That’s important.”
As Arizona puts the final touches on preparation for Saturday’s opener against NAU, gets ready for the season, here are three things about Foles and then a bunch of links to other stories about him us and various other sources.
1. He has trimmed his hair.
Trimmed, not cut. Foles is a little less scruffy that last year, which sounds like a trifle, although Scelfo says it’s not. The quarterbacks coach predicts Foles, as he gets nearer to postseason workouts and interviews with potential NFL employers, will wear his hair shorter and shorter.
For quarterbacks, image matters.
Scelfo last year made a point to Foles by showing him before-and-after pictures of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who came back from his legal troubles projecting a cleaner image.
“I’m still growing the hair out a little bit,” Foles said. “I always cut it a little bit before the season. I’ll still grow the beard out a little bit, and I’m sure by game three, you’ll be thinking differently of me. …
“But I do know the quarterback is the face of the franchise. He has to be the one selling a lot of jerseys, doing a lot of things, and he has to look the part, act the part.”
2. He is intrigued by coaching.
Foles worked as a camp counselor at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La., this summer, helping coach kids from 8th, 9th and 10th grades.
“I was a newer counselor, so I got the young ones which was actually probably good because they actually listened to me,” Foles said.
“I think I found another passion. I love this game and I want to play this game as long as I can, but just coaching kids and trying to develop them in a couple of days, I had a blast. But I also realized why coaches drink those energy drinks all day. I was going through four energy drinks a day to keep going.”
3. He has to win over some NFL scouts
Rob Rang, a senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, hasn’t been as high on Foles as some analysts.
NFLDraftScout.com has Foles as the ninth-best available quarterback for the 2012 draft, and Rang notes that in the spring the National Football Scouting service — which feeds early information to NFL some NFL teams — rated Foles in the seventh-round range.
“I do know some scouts who are very intrigued by him, and they think the offense is limiting his opportunities to show off his arm,” Rang said.
“And then there are some scouts — and quite frankly, scouts I respect a little bit more — who have some real reservations about his arm strength. But you get him in an all-star game, and who knows what happens?
“He certainly looks like a quarterback in terms of he’s a big, strong kid. He’s can physically hold up to NFL pass rushers.”
TucsonCitizen.com: Stoops to Foles: Get the lulls out
TucsonCitizen.com: More than a spread QB: Foles soaking up NFL-style training
TucsonCitizen.com: Foles not getting enough respect?
TucsonCitizen.com: Passing game takes aim at several school records
TucsonCitizen.com: Out of the whey: Nutrition changes fuel Foles
TucsonCitizen.com: Foles’ leadership helps make UA a ‘Band of Brothers’
Arizona Daily Star: Expect Foles to say ‘Go deep’ a lot this fall
Arizona Daily Star: Summer job gives Foles confidence
Arizona Daily Wildcat: The evolution of Nick Foles
FoxSportsArizona.com: Arizona counting on Foles for success
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 22nd installment of our 24 Hours of Arizona Football Blogging — one post at the top of every hour. Keep checking back at TucsonCitizen.com through Friday at 11 a.m. or follow the entire series with the “24 hours of blogging” tag.