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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcat Cheat Sheet Aug. 31: Former UA receivers struggle in NFL

Alex McIntyre

Arizona football players hustle up during practice on Sunday, Aug. 30.

With less than a week until game day, Arizona is making its final preparations before they see UTSA on Thursday. Here are some notes to take away from this weekend in football.

Wide receivers struggling to make NFL rosters

A couple of Arizona football’s most prolific receivers from the last few years are finding it hard to make it in the NFL. 

On Sunday, the New York Jets officially announced that Austin Hill was cut from the team’s roster. 

Hill, who went undrafted this past spring, caught one reception in the Jets’ first preseason game but did not touch the ball in the Jets’ last two showings.

The 24-year-old rookie was one of Arizona’s top receivers in 2012, but after a torn ACL sidelined Hill for the 2013 season, he never fully recovered. 

Wherever Hill ends up, he will always be remembered in Tucson for catching the affectionately named ‘Hill Mary’ touchdown pass to beat California last season.

Juron Criner, another former Arizona receiver, also appears to be on the verge of getting cut. Criner is currently with the New York Giants organization but has not appeared in any of the Giants’ preseason games.

A former All-Pac-12 Conference member, Criner played sparingly with the Oakland Raiders in 2012 and 2013. It doesn’t appear that he will make the Giants’ opening day roster. 

Injuries already plaguing ‘Cats 

Injuries have begun to pile up for the Wildcats. Linebacker Cody Ippolito and tight end Trevor Wood have both sustained season-ending injuries, while receivers Trey Griffey and Tyrell Johnson are expected to miss at least a couple of weeks. The Wildcats will rely on depth and their younger players to step up.

Soft Knocks

HBO runs a series called “Hard Knocks” and they have followed one team—this year the Houston Texans—every year in each of three seasons. The show covers teams in-depth, giving fans a look at training camp, practice and what the coaches do behind closed doors.

According to Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star, head coach Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats were all set to do their own version of “Hard Knocks” on HBO, but the deal was revoked by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and Pac-12 Networks president Lydia Murphy-Stephans.

“The Pac-12 is a politically-charged business venture divided in three parts: the schools and their administrators, the commissioner’s office and the Pac-12 Networks,” Hansen said. “All of the parts are not always in agreement.”

Hansen also said that while Arizona and the Pac-12 as a whole would have gained from the exposure, the other schools could have felt at a disadvantage in terms of recruiting with the featured school, in this case, Arizona.

Around the country

Kickoff for college football finally began on Saturday when four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State was upset by Montana. 

Down 35-31, running back Joey Counts scored on a one-yard touchdown run with two seconds remaining on the clock to give the Grizzlies the lead and the win, 38-35.

Starting the season off with an upset gives fans everywhere a taste of college football again, along with the idea that an upset could happen at any time this upcoming season.

Follow Kyle Hansen on Twitter.

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