Wharton optimistic about the offense

Garic Wharton is ready to step up in a receiving corps that has lost several key members in the past few months. Read on to find out how he is doing this fall, what his expectations are, and more.

Arizona's receiving corps took hits at several times throughout the offseason. Austin Hill will miss the majority of the season with an injury and Tyler Slavin left the team, among others leaving.

Without the two veterans, the Wildcats are looking for a younger player to step up in their absence and one of those players is junior wide receiver Garic Wharton.

Wharton saw some action a year ago, but plans on seeing more time this season. He has been working hard in fall camp, although the offense has had some rough patches.

"Practice was a little rough today," Wharton said Thursday. "The coaches are always on us, but it is only to get us better. We just need to improve and work on executing."

Even with the offense struggling to show improvements throughout the camp, it isn't cause for concern with the receiver.

"Right now, we are struggling a little bit," he said. "I'm not really worried about it at the moment. I think we will be ready for game day. We just need to focus on executing."

The junior also knows that the defense has won during a majority of the practices and he believes that it fuels the team to come out more prepared the next day.

"The defense has gotten the better of us for the past few days," Wharton said. "It's a little frustrating at times because I know we can do better and have shown it. We just have to keep the confidence that we can come out and take it form them tomorrow."

When asked which piece of the offense was having the most difficulty getting into a groove, Wharton was quick to mention that the entire offense had to get on the same page.

"The offense needs to work on the overall fluidity," he said. "It doesn't really fall on one position group that is having problems. It falls on everybody to communicate and we all just have to get better."

The receiving corps has been one of the strongest groups for the offense, but there are still some areas that need improvement.

"Our execution is the biggest thing we need to work on," Wharton said. "We need to make sure that we are running the right routes every time and give the quarterbacks the best option to throw the ball to.

"There are a few other minor things, but executing the plays is at the top of the list right now."

Arizona plays NAU in exactly two weeks and has yet to name a starting quarterback. Wharton tries not to focus on that, but instead tries to be efficient for whichever passer in under center during each play.

"There isn't a quarterback that I feel any more or less comfortable with out there," he said. "Whoever is out there is who I am going to be working with. I just want to make sure I get open and give him the opportunity to throw me the ball."

Heading into the season, the receiver doesn't have any personal goals, but he does have a main goal for the team.

"I want to win," Wharton said. "When the game comes, I know that we will be able to come out and perform. Right now we are struggling a little bit, but when the game comes we will be ready."

Camp has also had a few surprises with freshmen Nate Phillips and Samajie Grant having strong performances on the field due to their maturity.

"Nate is real nice," he said. "He doesn't play like a freshman. He is ahead of his years right now.

"Johnny Jackson is always balling as well. Samajie Grant is another one who is really good and has stood out to me."


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