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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wade finds peace of mind

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Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona Wildcats scrimmage at Arizona Stadium Saturday, Aug 20, 2011.

Arizona cornerback Trevin Wade wasn’t one to shy away from his on-field struggles in 2010.

The senior will tell you that at times he wasn’t always as focused as he should have been, that his success in his first two seasons in the Wildcats secondary (Wade intercepted four passes in 2008 and was named Second-team All-Pac-10 in 2009) may have turned him a touch complacent.

“When I first got here, I wasn’t expected to play, I just went in for cleanup duty,” Wade said. “Being looked at as an icon, that took its toll on me.”

But Wade will also tell you he knows that 2011 is a new year, and 2010 won’t define him as a player.

Wade said he was able to pinpoint the mental side of the game as the cause of his struggles. While his mind betrayed him, Wade said he knows that there’s one thing that hasn’t left him.

“The physical ability never leaves,” Wade said. “Last year was all mentally … I’m all in there now.”

Wade said things reached a low point when he was injured and was struggling with school, falling behind the pace needed to graduate.

“That was pretty tough for me,” he said.

But he was proactive and sat down with an academic adviser before eventually changing his major to economics, which put him back on track to graduate. Wade said that cleared his head and allowed him to focus on football.

Wade’s new mindset was apparent during Arizona’s preseason camp, giving the secondary a boost, according to head coach Mike Stoops.

“Trevin’s had a much better camp,” Stoops said. “It’s good to see him back making plays.”

An improved Wade, who intercepted two passes in Saturday’s scrimmage at Arizona Stadium, would be a huge lift to a secondary that allowed more than 200 passing yards per game in 2010.

But an improved Wade wouldn’t be the only change to the secondary. An influx of young players will contribute in 2011, including sophomore

cornerbacks Jonathan McKnight and Shaquille Richardson.

McKnight has earned the cornerback spot vacated by Robert Golden’s move to safety, but Wade and Richardson are still locked in a battle for the remaining corner position.

Wade has matured to a point where mentoring a player competing for his spot isn’t an issue, another sign that he’s leaps and bounds ahead of where he was mentally a season ago.

“I think he’s mature enough to do that,” secondary coach Ryan Walters said. “He hasn’t shown any sign of negativity or anything like that. He’s a veteran who knows what it takes, knows what to do and knows what to expect.”

Wade admitted that it can be a struggle at times, but he’s realized that he can only take care of his own performance without worrying what others do.

“It is somewhat (hard to do),” Wade said of mentoring Richardson while being entrenched in a position battle. “All I can do is play hard and teach as I go, and whatever happens, happens … you’ve just gotta keep playing.”

And while Wade will be the first to admit that he let outside influences affect him last season, he’s making sure that won’t happen again.

“I probably got caught a little bit playing for fans and stuff instead of playing for God,” Wade said. “I’m only playing for one person now, and that’s him. Everyone else, I don’t care about.”

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