8/30 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez discusses BYU, freshmen, and more.

* Rich Rodriguez was asked about in-state recruiting and once again stressed the importance of it.

“We know we aren’t going to get every player every year we want in the state, but we at least want them to visit,” Rodriguez said. “Just about all the ones we have offered have visited, maybe except one. It is important to us. This is our home base and we have to recruit well in the state of Arizona.”

* Charlie Ragle has done a nice job of recruiting within Arizona and Rodriguez has known him from before he joined the coaching staff.

“When I was the coach at Michigan I had signed Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh,” Rodriguez said. “I was impressed with how he ran his program and his interaction. I knew he would be a good addition to the staff. He was in an off-field role initially and worked his tail off and is doing an outstanding job now.”

* Although Nick Wilson is considered the starter at running back, Orlando Bradford will get plenty of carries.

“At the end of the year you could see he was just like Nick,” Rodriguez said. “Tough guy, get the hard yards, smart, good football player. He did everything well. He got to the point where we feel comfortable with him or Nick in every play that we run.”

* BYU will likely present some issues for Arizona with a power running game, which means that the defensive effort will have to be a collective one.

“We’re not big enough defensively right now,” Rodriguez said. “We’re trying to get bigger and eventually will get bigger, but that means we have to get a lot of guys to the ball and tackle well. That is something you work on during camp, but probably not as much as you need to because you don’t want to beat yourself up.”

* This isn’t the first time Rodriguez has gone up against BYU coach Kilani Sitake, as he was previously the defensive coordinator for Utah and Oregon State.

“His defenses are very aggressive,” Rodriguez said. “They play hard and do a lot of movement. They try to disguise coverages. They are an aggressive team and they will challenge us and get right in your face. That’s his personality and that is what he has done with his defenses.”

* For many Arizona players, Saturday will be the first game of their collegiate career.

“You just try to win the next play,” Rodriguez said. “It sounds like coach speak, but we really have to focus on winning a play at a time. We’re not going to win them all, but if we win more than we lose we’re going to win the game. For young guys, that’s what they need to focus on. Just that next play and then do as well as they can.”


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