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Arizona football notes: Copper helmets, Ka’Deem Carey, QB switch and more

Ka'Deem Carey

This is the look Arizona will have Friday night, but will Ka’Deem Carey be playing? Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Being a senior has its privileges.

Some of the seniors on the Arizona Wildcats have a council that picks out the team’s uniform combinations — important stuff in today’s college football world — and that group includes quarterback B.J. Denker.

The Cats have opted to wear their copper helmets in Friday’s opener against NAU. It will be the second time Arizona has worn the copper lids, which were debuted in a 38-35 home loss to Oregon State last season.

“We’re doing copper because it’s an in-state game and we’re representing our copper state,” Denker said.

The Wildcats will wear blue jerseys and blue pants with the copper helmets, as they last season, when they never wore the same uniform combination twice. Arizona has four helmets — white, blue, red, copper — and a new uniform style for this season.

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Coach Rich Rodriguez has mentioned that All-American running back Ka’Deem Carey could face playing-time punishment for a couple of offseason incidents, but he’s not likely to discuss it publicly before the NAU game.

“I haven’t discussed it yet with Ka’Deem and the other coaches,” Rodriguez said after Monday’s practice. “We’ll figure it out before the week is over. I know what I’m going to do.”

Whether that’s something or nothing, we’ll have to wait and see.

“I know I’m being vague,” Rodriguez said with a smile. “But that’s the way I am.”

Rodriguez did make Carey available for interviews Monday.

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Still no news on Notre Dame transfer receiver Davonte’ Neal. Arizona is awaiting word on whether he will be granted eligibility for 2013 after appealing to the NCAA to waive the transfer rule that states he must sit out a season.

“We’re hoping we’ll know something within a week,” Rodriguez said after Monday’s practice. “We play Friday night, right?”

With Neal’s status up in the air throughout camp, Arizona didn’t give him the practice reps it would have if it had known he was eligible. If the Wildcats get good news in the next few days, though, expect Neal to be right in the mix as a slot receiver.

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Arizona listed Khari McGee as an “athlete” when it pulled a Signing Day surprise and got the signature from the three-star recruit from Fresno (Calif.) Edison High School.

“He was too good of an athlete not to take, whether it was as a quarterback or a receiver or what have you,” Rodriguez said on Signing Day. “Khari McGee can play at this level.”

The understanding was that McGee would get a shot at quarterback. That’s where he played during fall camp.

Now, McGee (6-3, 204) is at receiver.

“We had talked to him about it for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden just the other day, we started to break up into groups and he ran with the wide receivers,” Rodriguez said.

“I think he can maybe help us there. My talk with him was that he can still learn quarterback and learn our offense while he is helping us at wide receiver. We need some more bigger guys over there for this year certainly.”

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Arizona’s initial two-deep (plus, some a few third-stringers) lists 12 seniors, 16 juniors, 10 sophomores six redshirt freshman, eight true freshmen. That’s not counting special teams.

The eight true freshmen are: receivers Nate Phillips and Samajie Grant, nose guard Luca Bruno, linebackers Scooby Wright, DeAndre’ Miller, Derrick Turituri and walk-on Jake Matthews, and cornerback Devin Holiday.

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