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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Spring football begins tonight

    Willlie Tuitama
    Willlie Tuitama

    The Arizona football team’s highly anticipated 2007 season kicks off tonight with the first of 15 spring practices, which culminate April 14 in the annual Spring Game.

    The Wildcats return 19 starters from last year’s 6-6 team, the program’s best since 1999. With all but one starter returning from a defense that ranked fourth in the Pacific 10 Conference, Arizona is in line to push for its first postseason berth since 1998.

    On the other side of the ball, the Wildcats will get their first on-field crack at new offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes’ spread scheme.

    The offense will be a hybrid of the pass-heavy attacks found at Texas Tech, Dykes’ former school, and Brigham Young. Like the latter, Arizona will depend on the tight end and halfback as much as its wide receivers.

    Players to watch include a trio of senior defenders in cornerback Antoine Cason and defensive end Louis Holmes – who both spurned jumps to the NFL this offseason – and linebacker Spencer Larsen, the team’s leading tackler in 2006.

    Junior quarterback Willie Tuitama returns fully healthy after a season marred by injury. Junior wide receiver Mike Thomas, who led Arizona in receiving yards his first two seasons, will helm a young, mostly inexperienced corps.

    All practices will be closed to the public except for the Spring Game, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., and a scrimmage March 31 at 9 a.m. Both will take place at Arizona Stadium.

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