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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Key takeaways from the first spring football practice

Nathanial Stenchever

The University of Arizona football players warm-up and prepare for inner conference play before the game on Oct. 22 at Arizona Stadium. The 0-6 Arizona Wildcat football team took on the 2-4 University of Washington team. 

The Arizona football team had its first spring practice at the Davis Sports Center on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. The atmosphere was electric. The players seem truly hopeful and excited for the upcoming season. The energy was high as the players looked light on their feet. The difference from last seasons’ first practice was noticeable mainly due to the 22 new faces on the field. Although the team won’t practice again until March 15th, there was no shortage of positive takeaways from the Wildcats’ first practice. 

New Quarterbacks 

There were two new faces behind center for the Wildcats on Wednesday. The Washington State transfer, Jayden de Laura, looked better of the two as expected. During 7-on-7 de Laura was very consistent with nice deep passes, but nothing crazy. As last years’ Pac-12 freshman of the year learns the new system he is sure to be even better. The other new face at quarterback was Freshman Noah Fifita. Other than completing a deep pass to Tetairoa McMillan, Fifita was very inaccurate.

Overall Team Size

“Everbody’s in great shape, everybody looks great. Drake Anderson looks tremendous he’s 195 pounds… he’s gained close to 17 pounds since his initial arrival here”. 

Fisch also said that Stevie Rocker is over 200 pounds along with Michael Wiley. 

We’ve really worked very hard raising our body type a little bit, getting a little bit more weight on our guys, hired a full-time nutritionist which has been great for our program,” Fisch said. “When I saw the team on the field for the first time there was a noticeable difference in size. The Wildcats look massive more like an SEC or Big-12 school.”

Tetairoa McMillan Stood Out

Right out of the gate Freshman Wide Receiver Tetairoa McMillan was turning heads with a leaping one-handed catch down the sideline from Jordan McCloud. In that same drive, McMillan made another beautiful catch in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. McMillan had another acrobatic catch by turning in mid-air to snatch the ball with one hand and bring it in for the completion. 

Fisch had this to say about his star freshmen wide receiver. 

“I thought he had a very good practice today,” “He clearly shows that he’s got tremendous ball skills, tremendous opportunity to make plays for us down the field. But on the same token, there’s a lot for him to learn. There’s a lot of the game that he has to understand going against Division I DBs,” Fisch said. “It’s going to be different, He’s gonna have to keep building it against all those guys and keep competing. But I certainly was proud of how we played today, and I expect a lot from him this season.” 

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