Fall Camp Wrap-Up

Fall camp ended a few days ago and now the Wildcats begin detailed preparation for the start of the season. Here is a final look at the performances from fall drills.

Pleasant Surprises

Anthony Johnson: Everyone assumed the three freshmen would just cruise past Johnson and B.J. Dennard, but that did not happen. Johnson did not only have a solid camp, but he made tough catch after tough catch. In scrimmage situations, Johnson had zero drops. That, combined with the great finish to the 2005 season, have him looking like a key part of the offense.

B.J. Dennard: Wildcat coaches told Dennard that he needed to step up this year or get left behind. After the first few days of camp it looked as if Dennard's career would be limited to a few good games against ASU. Dennard caught fire a few days into camp. Over the last two weeks he was making play after play, including a few spectacular diving catches.

Chris Jennings: We had heard that some of the walk-on running backs had a chance to be really good, but I'm not sure anyone was prepared for what the JC transfer showed. Jennings will be in the mix at tailback and has a legitimate chance to start at some point this season. Jennings has speed, strength and instincts that will make a number of teams kick themselves for not offering him a scholarship.

Kyle McQuown: I'll be honest, I was not impressed with McQuown last fall or even in the spring. That has all changed. His leg is stronger and he is kicking the heck out of the ball. He still needs to be a tad more consistent, but he looks like he will be a nice replacement for Danny Baugher.

Lionel Dotson: Dotson was expected to be in the mix at defensive tackle, but he worked with the first team for most of the fall. He has slowly become a very impressive interior lineman after beginning his career at defensive end.

Dominic Patrick: After the first few days of camp it looked like Nate Ness and his big play ability might have the free safety spot wrapped up. As camp continued it became clear that Patrick was the guy to beat for the spot. He had a better feel for stopping the run and his ability to knock out ball carriers appealed to the coaches.

Nick Folk: We knew the kid could kick, but 70-yarders? You have to be kidding. He is poised to enter the pantheon with the likes of Zendejas and McLaughlin.

Antoine Cason: Yeah, he looks even better. Not only is he one of the best players on the team, but he has stepped it up from a leadership standpoint.

Brooks Reed: All indications were that he was going to start his Wildcat career as a linebacker. Nope, he's a fullback. He showed a great ability to block and is a nice receiver out of the backfield.

Glyndon Bolasky: Like his Sabino teammate, most felt that he was destined for defense. Bolasky told us all along that he was a running back and he was right. He may not play this year, but it won't be because he is not skilled.

Chris Henry: Jennings got a lot of the headlines, but Henry quietly put together a solid camp. He held onto the ball and ran hard. Now he has to do it on Saturdays.

Steady As She Goes:
These players had very nice camps, but that was to be expected: Willie Tuitama, Mike Thomas, Syndric Steptoe, Yaniv Barnett, Wilrey Fontenot, Joe Longacre, Ronnie Palmer, Spencer Larsen and Dane Krogstad.

Derke Robinson: Got cleared late, then got pulled out of practice to have academics reviewed. The promising prospect left the team for good when family issues back home in Texas forced him to leave the program.

Gabe Long: Although things look promising, he'll be a month behind the rest of the team if he gets to suit up.

Brad Wood: Played well when he was in there, but coaches and trainers were cautious and held him out a lot throughout camp.

Louis Holmes: With all the hype we expected him to fly into practice with an "S" on his chest. Holmes played quite well but has to learn how to compete against D-I tackles. He'll be just fine, but living up to the hype machine is never easy.

The offensive line: Too many guys were dinged up to get an accurate gauge on how good they can be.

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