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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Trey Griffey looks to fill leadership role for Arizona football

Alex McIntyre
Arizona wide receiver Trey Griffey (5) runs with the ball after receiving a pass during the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Dec. 19, 2015. Griffey is expected to lead the Wildcats’ receiving core this season.

Looking at Arizona’s receiving core over the first weekend of spring practice, slot receivers in the names of Samajie Grant and Nate Phillips highlight the bunch; but there’s one player that stands out from the rest. 

Trey Griffey’s speed and 6-foot-3 frame will be Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez’s go-to option when taking shots down the field this coming season. Griffey’s veteran leadership could be an important tool on and off the field. 

Arizona lost two of the biggest receivers from its rotation last season. Cayleb Jones decided to skip his senior year and explore his options in the NFL and David Richards graduated. 

The pair combined for 1,452 yards and 11 touchdowns, which aren’t double-take numbers, but the uncertainty shown at the quarterback position didn’t do them any justice. 

Griffey is now entering his senior season, and until 2016 Junior College wide receiver Shawn Poindexter steps foot on campus, Griffey will most likely be the focal point as an outside receiver. Griffey, as the next man up, has to step up and create plays. 

“I’ve been here for some time,” Griffey said. “My first year here we had Dan Buckner here. Dan and Terrence [Miller] and then Cayleb leaving last year. I’m the last one of the group.”

Miller was once a Mike Stoops recruit as a tight end, but lingered into the Rodriguez system as an outside receiver and found success. 

Griffey wasn’t recruited as a tight end but, like Miller, found success during the sophomore campaign, racking up 405 receiving yards. 

A broken foot injury in 2015, however, slowed Griffey down with only 284 yards in six games. 

Following Arizona’s first practice Friday, Griffey mentioned his role model and who he wants to mold himself into during his campaign in Tucson. 

Without hesitation, Griffey said it was the man who had a similar career statistically as him. 

“Terrence Miller,” Griffey said. “He was actually my host when I came for my official visit. We had a connection there and he still comes around. He went to the NFL so he knows a lot about getting off of cuts and catching with your hands and what the coaches wanted to see.”

Whatever Miller said to Griffey about what the coaches wanted to see worked, especially in regards to off the field leadership, according to wide receivers head coach Tony Dews. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Trey Griffey’s name for missing a class, missing an appointment, late to a trainer or late to the weight room,” Dews said. “I don’t think Trey has been late to anything in like four and a half years.”

Come fall, Griffey will be the guy who sets the example for his fellow receivers and plenty of younger guys on the team. 

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter 

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