SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - As well as Scooby Wright III has played this season, one of the more impressive aspects may be just how far he has come since one year ago.
“I think if you talked to him this time last year, he was probably playing with at least one eye closed, maybe both of them closed,” Arizona defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel said. “He was still learning and had to play as a true freshman.
“I think that’s hard on anybody and I think this year he was able to understand a little bit more and the game has slowed down for him.
“You jump into the Pac-12 and play some of the teams that we have been playing, that’s a pretty big jump and I think that has kind of slowed down for him this year. I think he is going to continue to get better as we move forward.”
Wright is approaching the Fiesta Bowl as if it is a normal game, although he knows that it won’t be considered one.
“It is like a normal game, but at the same time we are playing in a great bowl game,” Wright said. “It is different, but in the back of my mind I think it is a normal game.”
It is that approach and his approach overall that has impressed Casteel.
“He’s a guy that is really a good football player,” Casteel said. “He works at it and he studies, has a plan of action with who he is going to play against and what type of things he thinks he can have success with.
“It will be fun to watch to see how he does here, but if you spend any time around him, his work ethic is off the charts.
“I don’t think we have had a kid that works quite as hard as he does. We have had a few guys that have had really had good motors, but I think the thing with him is that he is on all the time. He’s not satisfied with where he is at and I think that is what starts to separate him.”
“He’s a calm, collected quarterback,” Wright said. “He makes good decisions and doesn’t make too many mistakes.
“He can get out of the pocket and get the first down when he sees space. Just make sure you stay in front of him and don’t let him get out in open space.
“They play hard and they try to throw a lot of stuff at you. You have to be able to pick up what they are trying to give you.”
With the season coming to an end, the fact that Wright is returning next season and has room for improvement is a scary thought for Arizona’s opponents.
“He can improve everywhere, ask him,” Casteel said. “He still has to learn to play with his hands and is still learning the game.
“He’s strong, but sometimes he is not able to play as strong as he needs to be because of his leverage, his pad level. He is still learning what people are doing offensively. When all those things can slow down and he can play the game, he is going to be better.”