McKnight ready for season

Jonathan McKnight is finally back to full health and is ready for the season to start. Read on to find out about McKnight's health, his thoughts on the freshmen and more.

One of the biggest weaknesses for Arizona last season was the secondary. One of the veterans, Jonathan McKnight, has been working hard in fall camp in order to be ready for the season.

"Camp has been going good for me," McKnight said. "I'm out here on my grind every day. I just have to keep grinding and working hard to get better."

McKnight has battled injuries since tearing his ACL heading into his sophomore season. He believes he is fully healed and ready to make an impact.

"I'm 100 percent right now," he said when asked about his health. "It's getting deep into camp, so there is some fatigue and I'm a little sore, but I have to push through that.

"Freshman year, I was 100 percent, but sophomore year until now, it wasn't quite that way. I'm finally back there now."

Last season, McKnight played opposite Shaquille Richardson. Both got to Arizona in 2010 and have bonded over the past three years on the field.

"Shaq and I have had chemistry since we got here," McKnight said. "We have been working together since we came in at the same time. I feel comfortable with him over there.

"Actually, I feel comfortable with anyone on the other side at corner and everywhere. I feel comfortable and trust all of my teammates."

With the secondary coming in last in just about every category in the Pac-12 last season, McKnight feels that the team has taken steps to improve for the upcoming season.

"Overall, the secondary is looking pretty good," he said. "There is always going to be something we need to work on, but so far we have had some pretty good days. We still have some looks and coverages that we need to work on, but overall we are looking good."

Even though there is only room for improvement, the secondary is not looking backwards for motivation. Instead, they are try to focus on what is ahead of them.

"We try not to talk about last year," McKnight said. "We had an alright season, but definitely not where we were supposed to be. Now, we are just moving forward from it and looking at the season that is coming up.

"Last year, I didn't have the best year. I had a decent season, but not where I expect to be. I'm just looking off of that and trying to focus on what I need to do this year."

One thing that has already changed on the defensive side of the ball is the confidence level that the team is bringing on the field with them.

"Confidence has been the biggest difference," he said. "We have got the concepts and we are comfortable. We feel confident with which moves to make and confident in our teammates knowing their positions."

The Wildcats also upgraded the defense by signing several highly touted players in the off-season. Some have already stood out during camp.

"All of the freshman have come in and done well with the system," McKnight said. "Devin Holiday is really good. He is picking up the concept fast and he has been working really hard to get to a high level."

The addition of a quality freshman class has given the defense some much-needed breathing room in terms of depth. A razor thin team last year now has a solid two-deep depth chart.

"This year, I feel like we have much more depth with the freshman coming in and being pretty good," he said. "Last year, we didn't have any depth and if someone got injured, we had to find a new game plan.

"This year, if someone goes down, we have someone else who we can call on to get in there."

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