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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Henry not coming back next season

    It’s official: Chris Henry has jumped into the NFL Draft pool.

    The junior running back was among 40 athletes who received permission from the NFL Friday to enter the April 28-29 draft.

    Henry declared for the draft a month ago, saying he wanted to test the professional waters rather than return to the Arizona football team in an uncertain role under new offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes.

    Henry rushed for 859 yards and nine touchdowns over parts of three seasons. He began last season as the starter but lost his job to junior-college transfer Chris Jennings at the start of Pacific 10 Conference play in late September.

    Henry earned it back with four games left in the schedule and went on to average 114 yards and two touchdowns on the ground during the Wildcats’ three-game winning streak in November.

    Jennings, a senior next season, is expected to take over the No. 1 job in Henry’s absence. Arizona head coach Mike Stoops has said sophomore Xavier Smith will be the backup in 2007, while sophomore Terry Longbons and possibly incoming freshman Joseph Reese will also compete for snaps.

    Because Henry was not a senior, he had to submit a written application to the NFL in which he agreed to forfeit his remaining eligibility to enter this year’s draft. Henry had until Jan. 19 to file intent-to-return paperwork with UA athletic director Jim Livengood.

    The list of underclassmen approved for the draft, which also includes USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett and ASU tight end Zach Miller, is available at nfl.com.

    Berezowitz out, Bedenbaugh in

    Arizona lost a key recruiting cog during the Stoops era last week but has installed another from Dykes’ backyard.

    The athletics department announced Friday that Texas Tech assistant coach Bill Bedenbaugh (BEE-den-bow) has joined the UA staff and will help oversee the team’s offensive linemen.

    He enters as Dan Berezowitz, the Wildcats’ director of personnel and research since 2001, resigned to take a similar position at Minnesota, the Arizona Daily Star reported Friday.

    Berezowitz, whose job duties included arranging on-campus visits for recruits, submitted a letter of resignation on Wednesday, the Star reported. Erick Harper, Arizona’s director of football operations, will assume Berezowitz’s duties until a full-time replacement is found.

    Berezowitz is the fourth member of the football staff to leave the program since November. He joined offensive coordinator Mike Canales, running backs coach Casey Dunn, and wide receivers coach Charlie Williams.

    Bedenbaugh spent the last seven seasons with the Red Raiders, the last two as their offensive line coach. Along with Dykes, Texas Tech’s co-offensive coordinator from 2004-2006, he presided over an offense consistently among the nation’s leaders in total offense, passing yards per game and scoring offense.

    Bedenbaugh’s addition may also help steer some recruits to Arizona. Upon his departure from Texas Tech, he was targeting 10 athletes who hail from the state, including five-star defensive end Eddie Jones and four-star offensive lineman Shannon Boatman.

    “”Coach Bedenbaugh has worked with coach Dykes for a number of years and is on the same page with him as to what we are looking to do offensively,”” Stoops said in a press release. “”He has a great understanding of what our game plan is here and what we’re doing on and off the field and in recruiting. He’s eager and ready to get started with our linemen, and he has shown a desire to help continue the process of building the Arizona program into a contender.””

    ASU rematch set for Dec. 1

    Arizona’s 2007 schedule was released by the Pac-10 Friday, highlighted by the first ASU rivalry game marked for December in nearly 40 years.

    The annual Territorial Cup game will be played Dec. 1 in light of a USC-ASU game the Pac-10 scheduled for Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.

    That game will be one of two Thursday-evening contests to be broadcast on ESPN as per the conference’s new television deal with the network starting next season. The other is the Wildcats’ Nov. 15 meeting with Oregon at Arizona Stadium.

    Traditionally, the Arizona-ASU matchup has occurred during Thanksgiving weekend. The last meeting to take place after November was on Dec. 5, 1970, at Arizona Stadium.

    Because of the scheduling snafu, the Wildcats will play one game in four weeks after hosting UCLA on Nov. 3.

    Arizona opens the season Sept. 1 at Brigham Young. The team’s non-conference slate includes a Sept. 15 home game with New Mexico, an Arizona rival during the program’s stint in the Western Athletic Conference from 1962-1977.

    The Wildcats haven’t met the Lobos since defeating them 20-14 in the 1997 Insight.com Bowl.

    Arizona’s roughest patch should come in a four-game span starting Sept. 22 at Oregon State. Arizona returns home to meet Washington State, and then travels to California and USC on consecutive weekends.

    The four teams had a combined 37-15 record in 2006 and are expected to return nearly all of their impact players.

    The Wildcats host NAU on Sept. 8. The Lumberjacks came to town in each of Stoops’ first two seasons before being left off Arizona’s schedule last season in favor of a trip to Louisiana State.

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