Arizona football weekend recap: Quarterback group shines and young players continue to gain experience


Marison Bilagody

The Arizona offense huddles during a timeout at Arizona Stadium on Nov. 13. The Arizona offense scored 17 points in the first half.

Ryan Wohl and Cole Johnson

Here is our weekend recap of the Arizona football team’s practices from Friday and Saturday.

Friday March 25

The Arizona football team held their seventh spring practice at the Davis Sports Center and Dick Tomey practice fields in Tucson on March 25. Here are some observations and takeaways from the practice.

Friday’s practice was rather short, a little less than two hours with the temperature being above 90 degrees. This did not affect the teams’ energy. Once again the team was rowdy as they took the field with music blasting.

The coaches were just as energetic as the players got hyped for every great play. The pace was quick as everyone was in a rush to get where they needed to be snap after snap.

Strong receiver and back play 

The wide receiver core looked strong on Friday. Routes looked sharp and hands looked sticky with one-handed grabs from running back Jonah Coleman and wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan. Coleman also had some great runs and was finding gaps left and right.

“My goal this spring is to really focus on the run game and get it detailed up and make sure we’re doing the right thing, so that carries over when we go into the season. So far it’s looked like we’ve made some good progress and we just gotta keep building that,” Offensive Coordinator Brennan Carroll said.

Both Lines Looked Solid

During scrimmage helmets were clashing loudly every play. The O-line was holding the d-line at bay but with difficulty. The D-line put pressure on the quarterbacks all day causing an interception caught by Isaiah Rutherford. Towards the end of the scrimmage the D-line started getting through more consistently getting to Jayden de Laura more than once. The D-line had an interception of their own caught by Hunter Echols.

RELATED: Key takeaways from Arizona football’s second spring practice

Saturday, March 26

On Saturday the Arizona football team held their first team scrimmage inside Arizona Stadium on a hot 95 degree day. Following the scrimmage, head coach Jedd Fisch spoke to the media.

Young guys in the mix

Fisch talked about having 18 players that should be high school seniors but were out on the field participating in the Saturday scrimmage.

“I thought it was good. I thought some players really stepped up. I thought other players need to get better. I thought I saw young players being young today. I saw some veteran players being a little more veteran,” Fisch said. “The jump from high school to college is an enormous jump. To jump from the college to pros is an enormous job … So I like the way we’re getting better. But we’re still a long way to go from everyone.”

The Wildcats had the 21st best recruiting class in the country for the 2022 season with four four-star prospects joining the program.

“We have a ways to go remember we were as bad as it gets, both on offense and defense in the red zone,” Fisch said. “So we just need to keep finding ways to improve in those areas on both sides of the ball.”

QB competition 

When discussing the crowded quarterback room, Fisch focused on three players. Jayden de Laura, Jordan McCloud and Noah Fifita.

“And really, what those three guys give you, [de Laura, McCloud and Fifta], is your ability in the pocket to move,” Fisch said.

Quarterback Fifita is an incoming freshman from Servite High School. He was graded a three-star prospect according to 247sports.

“I love the way [Fifta] was stepping up. I love the plays that [Fifta] was making” Fisch said.

McCloud started in two games while competing in a total of three contests during his first season in Tucson. Despite playing his first two years of his colligate career at the University of Southern Florida, he still remains a sophomore eligibility wise.

“Jordan did a lot of good things early in the practice, he made some plays probably would like a couple throws back but I think for the most part was very confident in there, understood how to move the ball and did a nice job,” Fisch said.

The third quarterback that saw the most reps during Saturday’s scrimmage was de Laura. He played his freshmen season at Washington State where he earned Pac-12 Offensive Freshmen of the Year honors.

“[De Laura], there’s probably three or four throws maybe that he didn’t love or wasn’t on the same page,” Fisch said. “That comes with time. He just got here, but there was a lot of great throws today, a lot of big time throws that I can think of where he’s able to stand in that pocket now where he’s going to separate himself.”

The Wildcat football team will practice again on Monday afternoon at the Dick Tomey practice fields.

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