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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Football spring practice: Quarterbacks shine and Johnny Nansen’s defense looks dominant

Heather Newberry
The “A” flag is held up by Arizona cheerleaders during the UA-Oregon State game on Nov. 11 at Arizona Stadium.

The Arizona football team held their 10th spring practice out of 15 at Davis Sports Center and Tomey practice fields on March 30. 

It cooled down a bit since the last practice with the temperature being in the low 70s after getting up to the mid-90s. As usual, energy was higher than ever as the team seemed loose with high hopes for the upcoming season. 

Good connections between the quarterbacks and receivers 

While the wide receivers ran routes for the quarterbacks, it seemed there were very few drops. The receivers and QBs showed that they have a great connection and are getting used to one another. Even the running backs looked strong while running routes and receiving. The offense continued to find their mojo and improve their confidence in each other as they all work to reach a goal.

“I’m really happy with the way that the tight end position is coming along. … It’s a great group. So excited to have more bodies,” said offensive coordinator Brennan Carroll. 

Tight end size and quickness

The tight ends are larger than ever; however they are also quicker than ever. During practice, the tight ends ran multiple deep routes and were keeping up with the receivers, specifically freshmen tight ends Keyan Burnett and Alex Lines. Burnett is 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and runs routes like a quick and tall receiver. Lines is also 6-foot-5, but he weighs almost 260 pounds. Lines moved men all over the place while running short routes with quickness. 

“After having a year under my belt, I can play faster. I know what I’m doing. I don’t have to think as much,” Lines said. 

RELATED: Arizona football weekend recap: Quarterback group shines and young players continue to gain experience

Overall defense 

The defense has been working well behind defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen. The defensive line had multiple sacks during 11-on-11, mostly getting to quarterback Jayden de Laura in the pocket. 

The defense was also stopping most runs at the line like a brick wall. Corners were locking it down during one on one route running. 

Quarterbacks looked strong 

The quarterbacks continue to look good. Jordan McCloud and de Laura seemed to be the first two up during QB drills and they both look very skilled. Their arms continue to look strong but the quickness and agility between the two are very noticeable.

The next spring practice will be held at the same place and at the same time Friday, April 1. 

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