8/26 Football Notebook

Monday brought plenty of news and notes for Arizona football. Read on for notes on the defense, individual players, and much more.

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday and here are some notes on quarterbacks, the defense, and more.

  • Although anything can happen, it appears that freshman Anu Solomon will redshirt this season.

    "He's getting reps because we want to keep him honed up, but it's hardest for him because he's a true freshman coming in," Rodriguez said. "We like everything we've seen from him, but he's behind the rest of the guys because he wasn't here for spring practice."

  • Freshman Nate Phillips has made an impression at wide receiver, but he will appear on special teams as well.

    "Nate has good ball skills, he has good speed and he's a confident guy when he's back there catching kicks or punts," Rodriguez said. "I'm not sure if he's the first punt or kick returner, but he'll be out there Friday night."

  • Numerous defensive players have mentioned playing man coverage throughout camp and Rodriguez confirmed that is a strong possibility.

    "We're going to try to play a little more," he said. "We have more experienced cornerbacks and we've stayed healthy so far. More than anything, we have a better understanding of what we need to do defensively. This year, veteran guys know why we do certain coverages or blitzes."

  • Keoni Bush-Loo is listed as a co-starter on the initial depth chart and much of that has to do with the increased competition at the position.

    "He's a year older," Rodriguez said. "I think last year he played before he was ready. He understands what we're doing better and he had a really good fall camp. I think his play has been elevated because we have Scooby Wright and Derrick Turituri right there behind him."

  • Speaking of Wright, Rodriguez had plenty of positive things to say when discussing why he will play this season.

    "He's just a good football player," he said. "I think he would like to play both ways. Anything you ask him to do, whether its rush the passer, blitz, cover someone; he'd be a fullback if you asked him. He's a true football player. He's learned pretty well. Sometimes we have to sit back and realize he's a true freshman."

  • Rodriguez added a little clarity to the kicking game, but says that there is still an ongoing competition.

    "The kicker is either going to be Jake Smith or Casey Skowron," Rodriguez said. "They both looked good in camp. Jake has probably taken a little lead, but Casey is still there. Drew Riggleman has punted pretty solidly and Jake is the backup there."

  • Arizona continues to wait for an answer on Davonte Neal's eligibility and it is still not known when that answer will come.

    "I don't know, we might find out something this week with Davonte," Rodriguez said. "He has had a great attitude and will be prepared either way.

    "He has done mostly scout team work, but we're still giving him reps to understand our offense too. I think hopefully a decision should come down here pretty soon."

  • Freshman Khari McGee was participating with the wide receivers on the scout team and it appears the move has the potential to be permanent.

    "We had talked to him about it for a couple of weeks and all of a sudden just the other day when we started to break out into groups, he ran with the wide receivers," Rodriguez said.

    "I think he can maybe help us there. My talk with him is that he can still learn quarterback and learn our offense while he is helping us with wide receiver. We need some bigger guys over there for this year. We will see how he progresses."

  • Rodriguez has not decided whether or not Ka'Deem Carey will face discipline for his off-season incidents.

    "I probably have determined it, but I haven't discussed it yet with Ka'Deem or the other coaches," Rodriguez said. "We will figure it out before the week is over, but I know what I am going to do."


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