Arizona football notes: Rich Rodriguez puts two more walk-ons on scholarshipby Anthony Gimino on Aug. 22, 2013, under Arizona football
By the time Arizona receiver Trevor Ermisch had a chance to call his mom with the good news, she already knew.
Ermisch, who arrived as a walk-on for the 2011 season, had just been pulled into an office by coach Rich Rodriguez, who delivered the word: Arizona was putting Ermisch on scholarship.
Before he could get back to his locker, quarterback B.J. Denker had tweeted his congratulations. Ermisch’s mom, Janis, saw it.
“I came back to the locker room and I had like three texts from my mom, saying, ‘Call me, call me, call me,’” Ermisch said after Wednesday night’s practice.
Junior running back Terris Jones, the brother of former UA running back Nic Grigsby, also was put on scholarship Wednesday. He arrived at Arizona in 2010 and could also help on special teams.
Ermisch is a junior who has played on special teams his first two seasons. He made eight tackles last year but did not catch a pass. He will have a greater chance for playing time on offense in 2013.
“Trevor is a guy who knows all the positions on offense,” Rodriguez said. “That’s why he’s valuable for us.”
Ermisch, a second-team academic All-Pac-12 selection last season, also is on the punt team, kick team, punt return and kick return.
“It was definitely one of my goals,” he said of earning a scholarship.
“I’ve worked hard every year. I’ve done special teams both years and I want to get in at receiver more this year. I have gotten better, more mature this year as a receiver.”
Ermisch, from Sandra Day O’Connor High in Phoenix, arrived at Arizona in large part because his older brother, Tyler, also walked-on to the team as a linebacker in 2011. Tyler is now working as a loan officer in Chandler, Trevor said.
“He’s working in a cubicle, real-world stuff,” Trevor said. “He was happy for me. He’s going to come down for every game for support.”
Because they have been in the program for at least two years, Ermisch and Jones do not count toward the school’s annual limit of providing 25 initial scholarships. Arizona still has a little room under the 85-scholarship limit for the team. UA previously this year put a trio of walk-ons on scholarship — linebacker Sir Thomas Jackson, receiver Johnny Jackson and nose guard Tevin Hood.
Here are two new walk-ons to watch for this season — receiver Aaron Lacombe from Westlake Village, Calif., and linebacker Jake Matthews from Ironwood Ridge High School.
Congratulations to my boy Trevor Ermisch on receiving a scholarship today! Hard work pays off!
— BJ Denker (@VanillaV1ck7) August 21, 2013
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Senior Chris Putton has mostly played guard at Arizona, but his versatility makes him “invaluable,” Rodriguez said.
Putton, entering his third season as a starter, worked at center in the spring and could help there if needed, although junior college transfer Steven Gurrola seems to have been gaining a stronger grip on the job lately.
Putton can also move out to tackle, where he has played while left tackle Mickey Baucus has been out because of an ankle injury in the past couple of days.
Rodriguez said Putton might even prefer tackle.
“I wouldn’t say I prefer any of the positions,” Putton said. “I just love going out there playing. I played tackle in high school, so it’s kind of my first home. But I love playing guard, I like playing center.”
Being so versatile does have its mental challenges.
“It can get a little confusing some times,” Putton said. “It can be nerve-wrecking, but it’s fun for me.”
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Arizona senior Richard Morrison, who returned to receiver last week after playing cornerback since spring, isn’t likely to be a two-way player. He’s almost exclusively on offense right now, Rodriguez said. … Arizona has added the older brother of freshman linebacker Derrick Turituri as a walk-on. Sophomore safety Tyler Turituri played for Portland State in 2011 as a cornerback but did not play last season. … Another new walk-on is sophomore safety Tyler Grammar from Ironwood Ridge High and Pima Community College.