High expectations for Vickers

There is no pressure on B.J. Vickers. One of his coaches sees him as an instant fix for the Wildcat offense. His dad played for the Wildcats and secretly wanted him to follow in his footsteps. Vickers comes to Arizona with a lot of hype, all he has to do is live up to it.

Upon signing B.J. Vickers, offensive coordinator Mike Canales instantly started signing his praises. Three months later he was still on the Vickers' bandwagon.

"Oh man, he (Vickers) just made us better by 100 yards a game next year," said Canales. "He is just a special player and a truly special threat. He can take a 2 yard hitch route to the house and he can stretch the field in a seam. He can do it all as a wide receiver. He is an amazing addition to our offense."

Apparently Vickers has been listening to his coach, because he echoed the coordinator's sentiments.

"I hope to bring at least 100 a game," Vickers said. "A touchdown would be good but it's going to take hard work first. It takes me being out here more hours, the first one on the field and the last one off."

Although he's months away from getting the Wildcats one yard, much less 100 yards, Vickers does give the Wildcats something they did not have before, an intimidating presence. You can't miss him on the field. He's the tallest, thickest receiver. He's the guy who is big, yet fluid. He's the type of guy the Wildcats have never had.

Other teams have had these guys, you know, big, fast, athletic receivers. Washington had Reggie Williams. UCLA had Brian Poly Dixon. USC has had about 15 of these guys.

Arizona has had either small, fast receivers like Dennis Northcutt and Bobby Wade, or bigger receivers who lacked freak athleticism.

Vickers has a chance to be the player that Biren Ealy never wanted to work to be. In fact, Vickers brings more to the table.

The team is expecting a lot from Vickers.

"I think he's going to be good, I think he's can make some plays after the catch," said quarterback Richard Kovalcheck. "I think he's going to be a play maker. I feel real comfortable throwing to B.J."

Vickers and Kovalcheck worked long and hard over the winter to gain some chemistry. They spent time running patterns and playing 7-on-7. Now with Kovalcheck out for spring drills, Vickers has to get used to a new passer.

"We've got a back-up that is doing pretty good," Vickers said of Adam Austin. "He's stepping up, he's doing a hell of a job right now."

Vickers' path to Arizona was not an easy one. He signed with Louisville out of high school, but wound up at a JUCO instead. After two strong seasons at Santa Monica Community College he became one of the most sought after JC players. He originally verballed to Cal, but visited Arizona and changed his mind.

"I really didn't want to go somewhere where there were a lot of politics," Vickers confessed. "Here it seemed like more like a team, more of a family. I wanted to be somewhere where I'd be appreciated. Where someone is willing to work hard with me and my mistakes so I can get better."

His dad is Ryan Vickers, a former Wildcat tight end who started in the 1985 Sun Bowl.

"My dad didn't really pressure me," Vickers said. "He just gave me his opinions and gave me a couple of ideas and then I made my decision from there."

But dad had to be pleased that his son was following in his footsteps, right?

"He was very happy."

There is pressure on Vickers. He's seen as a guy who can instantly fix the offense. Before he can do that he has to adapt to the D-I game.

"It's a big adjustment," B.J. said. "At a JC it is really at your own pace, now it is all business at a fast tempo. It is all about how hard you work."

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