C.J. Dozier wanted to come to practice and fix a few things that he hadn't done well in the scrimmage two days before. Instead, he and the rest of the team were directed to the film room where coaches picked apart the game, play-by-play.
"It's disappointing because I was looking forward to practice, but we do have to get our stuff right," Dozier said. "I'm not going to be too upset about it. I'm just going to do what the coaches want me to do."
Dozier finished high school early and has taken the extra semester to prepare for his career as an Arizona Wildcat. He was the first player to commit to Rich Rodriguez in the transition period and one reason that he did was the coaches.
"I love the coaches," he said. "They push us and that's exactly what I need. I've had that my whole life."
Many may think that the transition for a teenager from high school to college in such a short time would be rough, but not to Dozier. The freshman is doing fine in his classes and is finding everything to be exactly as he expected it to be.
Leaving your home and your high school is tough. Players leave their friends and family behind in order to pursue an education and a possible career in football. Dozier did it half a year earlier than most, but has found support to ease the transition.
"The transition is good," Dozier said. "It's a big difference from high school to college with practices and classes. I think all my support and my family have made me ready for this."
On top of the transition, Dozier is also learning a new defense. Currently, he is playing as the weak side linebacker, but has received coaching at all three positions. The 3-3-5 defense is something that he is taking time to learn, but wants to learn well.
"I like (the 3-3-5) a lot," he said. "It's a different defense with stuff that most offenses don't know what's coming. There's a lot of disguising and blitzing, so I'm going to have fun."
Coming in early is giving him some extra practice and extra experience. He should benefit from having an extra spring under his belt when the rest of the freshmen come to camp in a few months. Dozier's hope is that the extra time gets him noticed and turns into a role with the defense come this fall.
"I'm hoping to get some playing time," Dozier said. "I'm competing out here. Whatever the coaches need to see me do, I'm willing to do it."