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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Football notes: Grandon moves on from suspension, plays way in to starting line-up

Zach Rosenbaltt / Arizona Daily Wildcat Football coach Rich Rodriguez addresses the press during a regular spring practice on Wednesday.

The road has been a long one for sophomore Jourdon Grandon, but it looks like the safety is finally back in the coaches’ good graces.

“He’s done everything we ask, on and off the field, and that’s been a big thing,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “We kind of put him under some guidelines and stipulations … and he’s met every one of them.”

Grandon started four games as a nickel back last season, making 36 total tackles, and recorded two forced fumbles and an interception.

In the spring, Grandon was involved in an off-campus brawl where he was charged with assault and trespassing, along with right tackle Fabbians Ebbele.

The charges were eventually dropped, but both players were suspended for the majority of spring camp.

Now, Grandon is back on the team and listed as the starting free safety for the Wildcats season opener against Toledo.

“He’s kept his head down, kept his mouth shut and worked hard the whole camp,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a competitive guy and loves to play football and I’m really proud of the way he’s responded this August.”

Having the sophomore back and in good mental and physical shape is important for the defense, as Rodriguez said they’re looking for every warm body they can find to play out there.

The athletic Grandon brings the ability to play at both cornerback and free safety, another important quality for a defense lacking in depth

“[Grandon] being able to play multiple positions helps us,” Rodriguez said. “We have to have a lot of that on defense. We have to have several guys who can play multiple positions.”

Home Sweet Home

The old Arizona baseball field where the football team has been practicing during fall camp is finally becoming home for Rodriguez and company.

Frank Sancet Field has been transformed into a make-shift practice facility for football now that the baseball team plays at Hi Corbett Field.

Before Wednesday, the outfield wall was decorated with baseball banners, but things have finally changed.

There is still a large billboard celebrating baseballs three NCAA championships — not including the Wildcats title this summer — but now the retired numbers along the outfield wall say “Arizona Football”, giving it a more homely feel.

“We’re kind of adding a little ambiance to the practice facility,” Rodriguez said.

“It’s pretty nice.”

But the most significant change is a giant schedule placed on the edge of the right field wall, covering the spot where Arizona alum Terry Francona was honored, as well as two others.

First Round of Captains Coming Out

Rodriguez prefers selecting game captains instead of permanent ones, allowing the multiple seniors the chance to take part in the coveted role.

Today he’ll make his decision on who will be captain for Toledo, and while it’s not his preference to tell the world, Rodriguez knows one invention won’t allow it to stay with the team.

“Should I tweet it?” Rodriguez joked.

But along with those potential Tweets tonight there may also be some news on a new benefit brought to the Arizona program with Rodriguez — nacho dip made courtesy of Rita Rodriguez, his wife.
Rita makes a nacho dip for two or three players who overcame adversity during the week.

“She can order (out) with the best of them, she doesn’t cook a lot,” Rodriguez joked. “But she makes … a special nacho dip.”

“It’s kind of her own little special award,” Rodriguez added. “It’s just a nacho thing and some chips. It’s no NCAA violation, no extra benefits, nothing like that.”

The players will pick the actual ‘team captains’ the final weekend before the Arizona State game.

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