Ealy feels 'the buzz'

The Cats had a major recruiting coup when they landed Biren Ealy two years ago. With many schools wanting him as a safety, the Cats lured him to Tucson with dreams of catching the football. Ealy played sparingly as a freshman, but he'll be the go-to guy when the Cats line up against UTEP in the season opener on Saturday night.

Biren Ealy is the prototype of the tall , athletic receiver that John Mackovic wants to build the offense around. Ealy has great athleticism and has the size to go over smaller cornerbacks. Ealy saw little action early last year, but by season's end showed flashes of the talent everyone had heard about.

Ealy heads into this season as the team's go-to guy. With Bobby Wade in the NFL and Andrae Thurman no longer on the squad, the young Wildcat quarterbacks have made the tall Texan their favorite target.

Ealy had a great camp. In fact, the improvement he showed over the course of three weeks was astounding. He went from having suspect hands to making a number of spectacular catches. His ability to adjust to poorly thrown balls has made him even more of a weapon. Although hard work has been a key to Ealy's success, he gives a lot of credit to his new receiver's coach.

"I feel I made great progress," Ealy said. "A lot of that is from having coach (Mose) Rison come in. It was great having him come in. You learn a lot of new things, different ways to run routes. I feel really prepared having coach Rison as my coach and I feel really confident heading into the season with him."

Now that training camp is over and the season is just days away, Ealy and his teammates are excited. The Cats may not be well regarded in the media or the general community, but there is a buzz from their peers.

"You walk around campus and you can feel the excitement from the student body," Ealy said. "You know it is game week and you have to be prepared."

The team is confident and a lack of injuries in the preseason is one of the keys. In his first training camp player after player dropped due to damage. This year the injuries, while still evident, are a lot less of a stress on the team.

"We don't have that many injuries this year, so we feel great about that aspect," confessed Ealy.

\ The big story is the quarterback battle, and like the fans, the team is curious as to who will be the quarterback. Ealy could be as affected as anyone, but he claims it is no big deal who takes the first snaps. Ealy knows that he will be the focal point of the offense either way.

"It doesn't really matter to me," claimed Ealy. "I'm like everyone else on the team. Whoever is the best quarterback will be in the game. Right now we haven't had one game and we need to see who is the best quarterback in a game situation. "We have confidence in both quarterbacks. They both bring different aspects. They are both athletic. Nic (Costa) is athletic, no question. Ryan (O'Hara) is able to move the ball and likes to go deep sometimes. They both have good traits. We just have to see who is better on gameday." Read this week's SCOUTING REPORT

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