Slash? Champ? Prime Time? Call him B.J.

B.J. Dennard may just be the best athlete on the Wildcat football team. It doesn't take long to spot the former Brophy Prep standout on the field. Of course, he is the only player playing both ways.

Arizona has a tradition of playing on both sides of the ball. Chris McAllister and Dennis Northcutt were the last to do it successfully. Dennard hopes the be the next.

Although he came in as a corner back, but played both in high school and maintained all throughout the recruiting process that he could play both. "When they were recruiting me they saw my tapes and that I was playing corner and receiver," Dennard said. "I was messing around him when coach was recruiting me that I want to play both ways. He said you have to be a special athlete to do that. Basically he told me I would have a chance to do it and he has kept his word. I am going to have that chance."

Dennard played as a true freshman at corner but moved to receiver late in the year. His first catch was an acrobatic 35 yarder against ASU where he somehow manage to get a foot down as he was stretched out and falling out of bounds.

Dennard loved the challenge of learning two positions.

"I am playing 100 percent of the time," Dennard said. "I do not want to come off the field. I want to play corner, and receiver and running back, plus return punts, I will do it. I want to do everything. I like to return kicks. I love to play ball. I love to play corner. I like to be a good football player. I want to be the best football player I can be."

Dennard makes it apparent that he is aware that going both ways will take a lot of work and a special player. He does not pretend that he is a special athlete that can get by on natural ability.

"I have been working out all year," he explained. "I have been running around and getting in shape. I have to stay in shape and show I do not get tired. I have to be mentally ready."

Head coach Mike Stoops said that Denanrd was the best athlete on the team and that is why he was being given the rare chance to play two key positions.

"You have to be in shape and athletic enough to make the transition," Dennard continued. "I am counting on my athleticism and do what my coach wants me to do. He believes in me and has the confidence in me to give me the great opportunity to play both ways."

As of now Dennard is getting more reps at wide out but is still working with the defensive backs. He claims that he does not care where he plays.

"I love them both," Dennard said. "I love to play corner and I love the physical game of a corner and I like taking my defensive mentality to the offense."

Mike Canales has taken to calling him "Slash". Others have jokingly called him "Champ" as in Champ Bailey. Dennard invoked another well known two-way player but had a huge smile on his face and could barely keep from laughing when he said it.

"You can call me ‘Prime Time'," Dennard said. "No, I'm just joking."

When asked what his teammates call him he merely said, "They just call me B.J."


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