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8/24 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez discusses Arizona's overall depth, DeAndre Miller, and more.

* BYU named Taysom Hill its starter for the season opener, but that won’t change how Arizona prepares.

“They have two great players and I thought Taysom Hill was one of the best in the country when healthy,” Rich Rodriguez said. “It doesn’t change the preparation because we still don’t know what they’re going to do.”

* Rodriguez hasn’t given much insight into what Arizona’s defense will look like, but he did take a moment to discuss the safeties.

“We’re starting three, so you would like to have six,” he said. “That’s a lot. We haven’t gotten to that point, but we have more bodies now than we have had and when the next recruiting class comes in, we will have even more. 

“There are certain defenses where you might be playing four or five at a time. I don’t know if we’re there yet, but we will play at least five of them I’m sure.

“I am comfortable from an ability standpoint, but from an experienced standpoint I’m not. There will be some young guys in the two deep, freshmen or redshirt freshmen.”

In fact, Arizona’s depth at a few positions is lacking.

“Running back is probably our deepest position,” Rodriguez said. “Tight end, I think we are pretty deep when everybody is healthy. We have two quarterbacks I think are good enough to win with. 

“Offensive and defensive line are a concern, probably linebacker. We’re okay at receiver, but on both lines we’re not as deep as we need to be.”

* Although he did not name any specific players, it sounds as if Rodriguez has a good idea of which freshmen will redshirt, including those that were here in the spring. 

“It helped, but probably not as much as you would hope,” Rodriguez said of the early enrollees. “The 15 practices in spring were beneficial, but probably not enough to put them over the top. Most of them will probably be redshirted. 

“When you’re redshirting a lot of young guys, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it means you have some pretty good players in front of them. I think this year we will play a few freshmen and next year we will play more judging on how the recruiting class is going.”

* One player on the defensive side of the ball that will be relied upon heavily is linebacker DeAndre Miller

“He’s one of the leaders on defense,” Rodriguez said. “He is an athletic guy that can drop and can pass rush. He has had a really good camp. He is certainly one of the best pass rushers on the team. Out of the linebacker crew he is probably the best.”

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