3/24 Football Notebook

Arizona spring ball started back up again on Monday. Read on for Rich Rodriguez's thoughts on getting back to practice, having unofficial visitors, and more.

  • Arizona got back to practice after going on spring break and it went just as Rich Rodriguez expected it would.

    "I told the team I kind of thought it would be a little ragged and it was," Rodriguez said. "I think it was a little warm. I think our guys enjoyed spring break too much, some of them, but we needed to get out there and get sweating and get hurting a little bit.

    "We got through it, nobody got hurt as far as I know and I think we are going to have a warm week, so we have three more practices to get them right."

  • The overall conditioning level is not where Rodriguez wants it to be, but there is time for that to change.

    "I think these guys love playing football and that’s the first step," he said. "I didn't see a lot of guys not wanting to at least come out here and give effort. I think our conditioning level is way, way behind where we want it to be, but we don’t play a game for several months."

  • Rodriguez realizes that not everybody will focus on football while on break, but that the players also need some time to rest.

    "The only thing I like from a coach’s standpoint is that it gives them a chance to absorb four practices and I am sure they were thinking about every scheme and every assignment over the last eight or nine days," he joked. "I did see a couple guys in the weight room over the break, but most of them were probably thinking about other things.

    "I like to break it up a little bit and let their bodies heal. It wasn't just the four practices, it was six pretty intense weeks of lifting too."

  • The coaching staff hosted numerous unofficial visitors on Monday.

    "Our biggest challenge is just getting kids on campus," Rodriguez said. "If we get them on campus, our success rate is extremely high.

    "Our coaches work like crazy just getting them here with their class schedules and tying everything up and just having the ability to get here. That is why we are so appreciative of guys like Keyshawn Johnson, who takes them to a lot of places."

  • With the way recruiting works now, the unofficial visits this time of year are vital to recruiting.

    "It is the busiest time because the unofficial visits have become more important than the official visits," Rodriguez said. "That is what is taking place now and next month and in May. The unofficial visits have become way more important, so all of your recruiting has shifted toward that focus."

  • There are plenty of people locked in on Arizona basketball and Rodriguez is one of them.

    "I am a big college basketball fan," he said. "One, they have recruited really talented guys, but it is more than that. The way they play, how unselfish they are, how hard they play on every possession.

    "I’ve told Sean this. When you play us in basketball, you have to literally earn everything you get when we’re on defense. I think good defense travels well and that’s what is fun to watch. I think I can learn a lot from watching Sean coach and I learn a lot from watching our guys play."

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