Two Arizona sophomore linebackers have had to give up football because of concussion problems, Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez said on his weekly radio show Wednesday night.
C.J. Dozier and Dakota Conwell, who each played as true freshman in 2012, suffered concussions early in fall camp, Rodriguez said, the latest in a series of head injuries.
“If you’ve had multiple concussions, then the doctors are really cautious about that, as they should be,” Rodriguez said on 1290-AM (KCUB).
“Both of these guys have had multiple concussions. … Our doctors do a good job. If our doctors say you probably shouldn’t play anymore, guys are going to listen.”
The Arizona Daily Star first reported the news about Dozier and Conwell about an hour earlier.
Dozier, from Temecula, Calif., played in nine games at outside linebacker, starting one, last season. He made 27 tackles, including 15 in the bowl game against Nevada.
Conwell, from Pittsburgh, played in 10 games, making 12 tackles, including three for loss. He was rated a four-star recruit by Scout.com out of high school, making him one of Rodriguez’s top signees in his first recruiting class at Arizona.
Both will stay in school, Rodriguez said, remaining on scholarship as a “medical non-counter.” They will count toward Arizona’s scholarship limit of 85 for this school year but won’t starting with the 2014-15 academic year.
Arizona lost another promising linebacker to concussion problems almost exactly a year ago — sophomore Rob Hankins.
The Cats have replenished their linebacker unit with freshmen Scooby Wright, Derrick Turituri, DeAndre Miller and walk-on Jake Matthews. Freshman Ryan Dunn likely will redshirt.
Arizona has a strong linebacker group set for its 2014 class — junior college transfer Antonio Smothers, and high school teammates Jamardre Cobb and Marquis Ware. Each is rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com.