Smith happy with quarterbacks' progress

Rod Smith is happy with the progress of the quarterbacks in the spring, but there is more work to be done. Read on to see him break down each competitor, talk about the position group as a whole, and more.

There are plenty of open positions on Arizona's football team, as the competition in the spring has been heavy.

One position that is seemingly wide open is quarterback and although B.J. Denker has been the best player in practice, there is still plenty to be decided.

"B.J. Denker has had a very productive spring," co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith said. "I think he's been pretty sharp lately. He still has some things we need to continue to get better at and work on.

"I've been pleased with his progress. He probably has the greatest grasp of what we're doing offensively. He understands where the ball needs to go and what it needs to do at certain times."

The thought going into the spring was that Javelle Allen would be Denker's biggest competition and while that has been the case, Allen started out a bit slowly.

"I hink Javelle Allen has really come along lately," Smith said. "He's getting better, but he has a long way to go. He's not where he was when he started this spring and that's positive. He's done some good things."

Jack Nykaza is working for some type of role with the quarterbacks and saw more snaps last week due to Nick Isham being injured.

"Jack Nykaza is taking some reps this week because we have Nick Isham and some other guys banged up," Smith said last week. "Jack's learning and it's his first time going through it all.

"He's got a pretty strong arm and he's eager to learn. I've been pleased with his progress and he needs to keep coming."

Smith says that it has been a learning process for most of the quarterbacks on the roster, as they are still learning the offense.

"This is a lot of work for those guys," Smith said. "It's really the first time a lot of them are operating in our system with what we do offensively and not scout team prep. It's new for them and there's a long way to go with the young guys, but I'm pleased with the older guys."

One player that has not participated fully in the spring is Jesse Scroggins, who many considered to be one of the favorites to start next season.

"Jesse Scroggins has been in there to get some throws," Smith said. "He's not full speed yet, but he can take some drops. I want him to get the feel of how deep routes are, the timing of throws and what it looks like, what it feels like, getting back in the throwing motion.

"He's probably has the best arm of our group, he's very physically gifted, but at the same time he has a lot to work on this summer."


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