Three key takeaways from spring football practice


Marison Bilagody

University of Arizona head football coach Jedd Fisch watches his players as they run a play at Arizona Stadium on April 9, 2022. Fisch is entering his second year as head coach of the Wildcats.

Jason Dayee

The Arizona football team had its sixth spring practice at the Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday, March 25. The team began with their usual warm-ups, where the guys were locked-in but still flying around and having a good time.

The coaches made sure the tone for practice was set for the players. They laid out what needed to be done and how to do it so this practice could be a successful one. The players understood this and followed suit. As they moved through their various drills and exercises, the intensity level remained very high.

This intensity comes from the team’s clear picture of what they want to accomplish in the upcoming season. These practices are simply the building blocks to accomplishing their goals.

The Wildcats will continue building on this foundation as they return to the field for their seventh practice of the offseason on Tuesday, March 28, at 3:40 p.m. Here are three takeaways from this practice.


The team currently has great depth at the quarterback position, and that was showcased at practice today. Jayden de Laura, Noah Fifita, Brayden Dorman and Cole Tannenbaum all displayed different attributes of their skill sets at this practice and made it clear this unit is in good hands moving forward.

De Laura set the tone early for the offense as he consistently connected with each of his targets. The offense was flowing very smoothly for the majority of the time he was on the field.

As for Fifita and Dorman, things did not look so smooth with them. There were multiple times when they looked indecisive and were inaccurate with their receivers. Although some of this was also on the offensive line and receivers, Fifita and Dorman deserve most of the blame. They struggled to move the ball and make quick decisions at times, especially when they were doing 11-on-11 drills.

As for Tannenbaum, he did not see a whole lot of field time. However, he looked sharp and continued to make progress when he was going through drills.


During their drills, the defensive line set the tone for the defense. They did not miss a beat, especially when they were lined up against someone. Their explosiveness and energy were clear in today’s practice.

As for the defensive backs, the guys were looking fast and twitchy during their drills, but there was frustration with some players because of the sloppiness they showed at times. However, as soon as this unit lined up against the offense, they showed up and showed out. They stopped the offense on five straight goal-line stands, and forced multiple three-and-outs and multiple turnovers.

Coaching Staff 

Head coach Jedd Fisch set the tone for his coaches, and they did not disappoint. Every one of them had their respective position groups laser-focused on what they had to do in this practice. Coaches Brennan Carroll, Johnny Nansen and Duane Akina were three coaches that stood out in today’s practice. Carroll had the offense firing off all cylinders from the start of practice until the end.

As for Nansen, he had the defense flying to the ball relentlessly. As good as the offense looked, the defense was just as good — if not better — because of the level of urgency Nansen put on his guys. Akina helped out with the secondary guys, as they would come up with multiple deflections that stopped the offense on multiple occasions.

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