TUCSON -- First, Trevin Wade was a two star cornerback prospect out of high school. Flash forward, and he's a spot-duty freshman who happens upon five interceptions over the course of his first season. After a decent-enough sophomore campaign came last season, when the then-junior just didn't look right.
An injury was just the tip of the iceberg to what Wade was dealing with. Perhaps a little of it had to do with success going to his head. Maybe he wasn't working as hard. But Wade says it came down to focus. Picking off two passes in Saturday's open scrimmage, the senior version of Trevin Wade looked like his old self, and he says it had nothing to do with confidence, work ethic or otherwise.
"I felt pretty good, just mentally tuned in," Wade said afterward. "I was the same person from last year. I probably got caught up playing for fans and stuff instead of playing for God. I only play for one person now -- that's him.
"Everybody else, I don't care about. People turning their back on me last year, that's part of the game."
His change in mindsets also was aided by not having non-football life distract him. It had nothing to do with any changes in his preparation and approach to the game. It was all about ridding himself of overhanging pressures outside of the practice field.Not on track to graduate, the Arizona corner said that meeting with counselors and concentrating on school led him to aiming for an economics degree. Now in the right place with his education and scheduled to graduate on time, football comes easier.
"That was tough on me," Wade said. "(The) physicalness is the same, but you know, if you're not in the game mentally, there's nothing you can do. School was taking a big toll on me."
And as the defense took control of Saturday's scrimmage, Wade's first two picks grabbed most of the momentum for a total of four takeaways by the Arizona defense by end of the night. Asked to become more of a leader by head coach Mike Stoops, Wade is doing it more by way of on-field performance rather than talk.
Teammate Robert Golden can beat him at that. But Golden, the defense's vocal leader, sees that the corner who last year played opposite the corner-turned-safety can do when his mind is in the right place.
"Everyone is going to go through some adversity," Golden said of Wade. "It's great to have him overcome it."