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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Football’s DBs to get a thorough look

    Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Softball takes on UTEP in a double-header Wednesday evening.
    Michael Ignatov
    Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat Softball takes on UTEP in a double-header Wednesday evening.

    The Arizona football team is two-thirds of the way through spring practice, and the quarterback controversy between Matt Scott and Nick Foles has yet to be solved.

    While that may be the main concern for offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes when he watches the Wildcats’ second scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning, defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has plenty to watch.

    Stoops will be focused on the secondary, which have the primary goal to stop the quarterbacks.

    “”I feel really good about our secondary,”” Stoops said. “”Just like last year, when we lost players we replaced them with better players. I’d like to believe, across the board, we have a chance to replace them with better players.””

    This year’s secondary will have some big shoes to fill with the departures of safety Nate Ness and cornerback Marquis Hundley.

    In order to combat those departures, the Arizona coaching staff moved sophomore Robert Golden to safety and will most likely rely on sophomores Mike Turner or Trevin Wade to fill in Hundley’s void along side returning starter Devin Ross. Freshman Marcus Benjamin could also possibly factor into some playing time at corner.

    Turner appears to be ready for the opportunity to compete.

    “”I am playing with a chip on my shoulder,”” said Turner, who missed all of last season after being suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. “”Each day I am just trying to raise my bar.””

    The coaching staff is impressed with Golden’s transition to safety. He will be competing with Brandon Tatum, Joe Perkins, and possibly incoming freshman Adam Hall to fill the voided safety slot as senior Cam Nelson figures to be the returning starter.

    Wade, who was tied with Hundley with a team-high four interceptions last season, has continued to impress the coaching staff during the spring. Wade, who only made one start last year, grabbed those interceptions with less than 50 snaps played all season.

    “”I am really, really encouraged with what Trevin is doing,”” Stoops said. “”With him playing so well, it gave us the flexibility to experiment with Robert (Golden) at safety. I really like the looks of that tandem just because of the athletic ability Robert brings us.

    “”We will see how that all shakes out,”” Stoops added. “”I am really impressed with depth at safety. We will see how our backup corners keep developing.””

    With only two spots up for grabs in the secondary – one at safety and one at cornerback – the competition is starting to set in during spring drills.

    Perhaps one of the most important times to showcase their skills comes tomorrow, as the Wildcats scrimmage at full speed in Arizona Stadium.

    Stoops will surely have his eyes open tomorrow.

    “”I will try and stay off the field as much as I can,”” Stoops said. “”I want to let them see it and get a feel for it. I am looking for playmaking ability and (who can make) adjustments on the fly.””

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