Friday’s Coverage of the Cats


>> The debut of my contribution to the Lindy’s College Football Web site: The top five true freshmen quarterbacks to watch in 2012. No. 1 is Oklahoma State’s Wes Lunt, who will be in Arizona Stadium in the Wildcats’ second week of the season.

>> Bud Withers of the Seattle Times — one of the best reporters on the West Coast — writes about Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez’s attempt to change the mindset of Wildcats from liking football to loving football.

>> The innovative Rodriguez — credited for the creation of the read-option spread offense — is doing something unique with the Wildcats’ special teams unit. According to Ryan Finley of The Arizona Daily Star, Rodriguez is dividing coaching responsibilities of the special teams among seven coaches, including himself. Finley writes about a different kind of drill in practice in which Rodriguez purposely throws bad snaps to punter Kyle Dugandžić.

>> put together the Pac-12’s Must-See Games of 2012. Arizona is involved with No. 16 at UCLA (Nov. 3), No. 28 vs. ASU (Nov. 24), No. 29 at Utah (Oct. 27) and No. 30 vs. Washington (Oct. 20).

>> Anthony Gimino of does some legwork and interviews former UA quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo about the development of Nick Foles with the Philadelphia Eagles. Some great quotes included, especially this one by Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick: “I think Nick has all the ingredients to be a great quarterback in this league. It may take some time, it may not. He has all the intangibles of what it takes.”

>> Gimino also writes about the Pac-12 Network airing classic conference games, including the “Leap by the Lake” game between Arizona and Washington in 1998. That game will air Sunday at 5 p.m. Gimino publishes a rewrite of his 2008 article of the game that was in the Tucson Citizen print edition. This blog is a must-read for any Arizona or Pac-12 follower. Gimino’s style of recounting the game is captivating.

>> One more good Gimino blog: Arizona forward Solomon Hill is tabbed as the Lindy’s preseason Pac-12’s Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season. Other candidates for Pac-12 preseason Player of the Year include: Cal junior guard Allen Crabbe, Washington State senior forward Brock Motum, Colorado junior forward Andre Roberson and UCLA incoming freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad. Muhammad is ineligible for the Bruins’ exhibition trip to China pending an NCAA investigation of whether he received improper benefits from the brother of an assistant coach at his high school or from a financial planner who helped fund a summer team on which he played, according to the Los Angeles Times.

>> Finley writes about walk-on sophomore receiver Johnny “On the Slot” Jackson, who originally joined the team as a running back last year but his size (5-10 and 179) is more suited for the slot position. Rodriguez likes him enough to play him with the first-team unit during some practice drills.

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