In the new offensive scheme that Rich Rodriguez has brought to Arizona, there are certain positions that are utilized more than others. In an offense that is predicated on speed, sometimes the big guys get lost in the shuffle.
On top of that, the big targets on offense get touches sparingly, often leaving those for ones that can make plays with their feet. Still, that doesn't mean these players won't have a role within the offense. Whether you're a tight end, fullback or H-Back, if a player can produce for the offense in a positive fashion, he will be integrated into the system somehow.
West Virginia alum Corey McIntyre has spent a decade in the NFL as a fullback after spending his senior campaign playing on both sides of the ball during his only year under Rodriguez. McIntyre only carried the ball a handful of times, but it was his blocking that caught the attention of NFL Scouts.
Now at Arizona, can Rodriguez find a similar player on the current Wildcats roster?
H-Back Taimi Tutogi could be used in a multitude of ways. He is a good enough athlete to carry the ball in short yardage situations and has enough speed to keep defenses honest. His power and blocking will be the keys though. If he can help make holes for Ka'Deem Carey, Daniel Jenkins and the rest of the running backs, he could become a viable tool in the offense.
Tutogi's hands could serve a purpose as well in this offense. With most defenses focusing on the speedsters, Tutogi could find himself open quite often and if that happens he may be able to make an impact with the ball in his hands as well.
In the new system, Terrence Miller should see a role at tight end and could be utilized as a blocker or as a receiver. He has a wide frame and solid hands for the position, but will likely need to improve his blocking to see the field with regularity.
After a strong finish to his sophomore season in 2010, Miller took a step backwards a year ago and didn't see the field as much. He is bit more athletic than any of the other tight ends on the roster though, so he could be given a big chance in his last year of college.
At 6-foot-5, 257-pounds, Drew Robinson has a big body that can pave the way for rushers and solid hands to catch passes with. He doesn't possess too much speed, so his touches will likely be limited, but he could see the field more if he shows improved skills as a blocker.
Michael Cooper also stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 240. Like Robinson, Cooper has good hands but his athleticism could allow him more touches than Robinson in Rodriguez's system. Cooper's blocking will also likely need improvement to see consistent playing time.
The 2012 class brings a tight end prospect to the Wildcats. 6-foot-4, 240-pounder Keoni Bush-Loo comes to UA from Hawaii and brings a very physical attitude to the offensive side of the ball. He is very unlikely to see the field as a freshman, but Rodriguez and his staff recruited Bush-Loo intensely, so it would not be surprising to see him on the field consistently in the coming years.
While these areas may not be the general focus of Rodriguez's system, there is opportunity for them to serve a purpose. How much they play depends on how well they fit into the new staff's philosophy. If one (or more) can integrate their style into the system seamlessly, then there is a very good chance we see some of these players on the field in 2012.
State of the Roster: TE, FB, H-Back
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