Position battle: Center

Arizona has a few players that are competing to start at center. Read on to see who they are and where each likely stands.

There will be numerous position battles this summer and as we continue to highlight each of them, the fight for the starting center job is another intriguing one.

Jacob Arzouman: Arzouman is an option at center, although he is working from behind for a few reasons. The biggest issue Arzouman will have is with his health and the fact that he is still recovering from a knee injury. The injury kept him out last season, which means that his experience is lacking when compared to a few others on the roster.

Arzouman was a solid prospect coming out of high school and was on a good track before his injury. While we think he has a lot of work to do to become the starting center, it would not be a surprise if the coaching staff made the decision to make him a solid part of the rotation.

Beau Boyster: Boyster redshirted his freshman year, which was expected as soon as he committed to Arizona. It is hard to predict too much about Boyster because we really have not seen him in action that much. We hear he does have potential and the majority of the snaps that Boyster took in fall camp were at center. Like Arzouman, he is unlikely to start, but will get an opportunity to be a part of the rotation.

Chris Putton: Putton is one of the main contenders to start at center and he was the starter during fall camp.

"I've been taking snaps since my redshirt freshman year," Putton said. "Obviously, I haven't played there yet, but I like the challenge. It's definitely a change. I think moving around a lot last year helps. I was snapping then and that helps and I think it will be a good transition.

"Last year, I was stressing out too much about the play before it was even snapped. This year I am a little more relaxed with the ball and I can just think calmly about the play before I snap the ball."

Putton is one of the most versatile linemen that Arizona has and the coaching staff thinks very highly of him. His veteran leadership and pure ability gives him a very legitimate chance to be center and if he won the job, you would have to wonder if there would even be much drop off at the position from last season.

Steven Gurrola: Arizona took Gurrola with the hope that he would win the starting job and although he is not on campus yet, that is still the expectation.

"He never played center in his life up until he went to junior college," Scout.com analyst Jason Jewell said. "He had always played right tackle and was a three year starter in high school. He's still just learning the game itself. Playing inside, playing center, that was his biggest adjustment and he's so much better.

"A lot of schools came through and said he was one of the best centers they have seen, not just in this class, but ever. He's a special player. He's a difference maker."

Gurrola is probably capable of playing other positions on the line, but if he is able to start at center, it allows Putton to move elsewhere and make the line as a whole better. At this point, the starting job is likely his to lose.


Wildcat Authority Top Stories