Denker ready for position battle

Arizona has yet to name a starting quarterback. Read on for B.J. Denker's take on the competition, how he played the first few days, and more.

With the start of the football season less than a month away, fall camp has gotten underway for the Arizona Wildcats. Senior quarterback B.J. Denker has been working with the offense throughout the summer and has been trying to get better since the start of camp.

"I feel like the offense had a very good practice today," Denker said on Tuesday. "We didn't beat the defense today, but we did a lot of things that we were looking at in the film room trying to correct and we came out today and did that."

Arizona starts the season at the end of the month and there has yet to be a starting quarterback named. Denker is in the running for the position, but has been trying not to force anything.

"You just have to play within yourself, play within the system and do what our coaches have been teaching us," he said. "Pressing is not going to do anything, it's not going to make me a better player. I just need to be patient and when my number is called, execute on the field and we will go from there."

Arizona has a few younger pieces at the quarterback position with Anu Solomon and Khari McGee being freshmen in the hunt. Denker understands that and knows that the unit as whole needs to get better.

"We are young at the position," he said. "I'm the only senior and I only have a few games of experience at this level. We have had some good practices.

"We have been in the film room all together hours at a time. We're going to keep getting better and that's the biggest thing."

With just a few weeks before the first game of the season, the quarterback competition has started to heat up, with all eyes focused on who will be the next signal caller.

"Any competition is intense," Denker said. "You can't just say it's not that big of deal. This is a starting spot, I have one more year, Jesse (Scroggins) has two and Nick (Isham) wants to play.

"Everyone wants to play. Competition, especially at the quarterback position, there is only one on the field at a time, so it's intense every single day."

The senior leader didn't start camp the way he wanted to, throwing a few interceptions on the opening day. However, he has worked on his game every day in order to get better.

"I didn't come out and play the way I wanted to the first few days," he said. "We threw all summer and worked hard. It was disappointing for myself to have that kind of performance and I like to be perfect.

"I don't like to let the coaches down, so I am trying to be more confident and work on more things."

As it is his last season, Denker would like to be on the field, but hasn't felt any added pressure to perform on the field.

"There's not necessarily any extra weight on my shoulders," Denker said about his role as a senior. "The quarterback position comes with pressure all the time, but I can't come out and practice like there is a lot of pressure.

"Coach Rod is going to get on me and he did the first few practices. That's fine, because he's going to be a little bit easier on me when it comes game time."

Even though the competition is growing more intense by the day, Denker hasn't forgotten about his role as an upperclassman when it comes to helping the younger players.

"It's the right thing to do (to teach the younger players)," he said. "We are just one play away from the backup being the starting guy. It would be selfish of me if they were to ask me a question and I didn't tell them what to do.

"He might be playing and we need what is best for the team, so I am always willing to lend a helping hand."


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