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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Fallen star

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA vs. Washington. Saturday, October 23, 2010. The Wildcats beat the Huskies 44-14.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA vs. Washington. Saturday, October 23, 2010. The Wildcats beat the Huskies 44-14.

Remember Arizona cornerback Trevin Wade?

Remember the shutdown cover corner who ranked 32nd nationally in interceptions (5) and 28th in passes defended (14) last season on his way to being named to the 2010 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List?

Wade has been a ghost in 2010, and when he has been noticed, it’s for getting burned down the sideline for a touchdown. What’s wrong with the former stud, whom quarterbacks wouldn’t dare throw toward in 2009?

“”You know, I don’t know, you’d have to ask Trevin that,”” said co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Greg Brown. “”I’d prefer not to make any comments on that. I’ll ask you to ask him. I don’t know.””

Arizona’s other starting cornerback and Wade’s close friend, Robert Golden, couldn’t quite put his finger on Wade’s sub-par season either.

“”I can’t really tell,”” he said. “”I know Trevin’s a hard worker and I know he’s really trying to get after it and bounce back. Everyone has their struggles.””

But few have fallen from grace like Wade. He’s gone from one of the Pacific 10 Conference’s most feared corners and a likely NFL prospect, to a liability on the field.

Through eight games, Wade has 30 tackles — 1.5 for a loss — two pass break-ups and an interception returned 85 yards for a score, but even the interception was more of the Iowa receiver dropping the ball than Wade making a good play.

In an effort to find an answer, Wade said he’s trying too hard to get back to superstar level.

“”Maybe I’m trying to make a comeback too fast,”” he said. “”I just need to slow it down and just play football and let it come to me instead of trying to grab it.””

Wade doesn’t have much time to slow it down, however, as his starting job is in jeopardy. Freshman cornerback Shaquille Richardson, who’s played well in spot duty and collected two interceptions, is waiting in the wings.

Richardson, not Wade, might start at corner against USC this Saturday. Brown said that guys who have a history of playing well usually “”pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.””

But he also hinted that Richardson is as close as ever to a starting gig for the Wildcats.

“”That’s still to be determined,”” Brown said. “”We’re going to practice this week but Shaquille certainly is going to get a long, heavy look at the starting job.””

At this point last year, nobody would have guessed Wade would be on the verge of getting benched, including Brown.

“”He had a track record in the past of intercepting a lot of balls,”” Brown said. “”He’s a guy who’s got great vision and anticipation, gets a jump on the ball. He made a lot of plays like that in the last two years.””

But 2010 has been a completely different story. Wade did struggle with a thigh injury that hampered him against Iowa and kept him out against Washington State, but in total he’s been sub-par and Richardson certainly has not.

“”It’s also a case of Shaquille has done well when he’s been in,”” Brown said. “”He competes. He’s got ability, he’s young. Our defense, we’re still evolving. Things usually don’t stay static week to week.””

Whether or not Wade starts against USC is the immediate question, but the real question is whether or not the former shutdown corner will ever regain form.

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