The main story line from Arizona's first few days has been the QB battle. But one true freshman has come in and made a name for himself.
Listed as James Phillips on the roster (No. 6), but the coaches call him Nate, so we'll go with Nate for now, has really impressed the coaching staff. Coach Rodriguez said this after Monday night's practice:
"More than likely Nate Phillips will play this year as a true freshman. He's a quick learner, very conscientious, doesn't look like he's going to be redshirting, looks like he's going to be playing."
"He's going to be playing in the slot."
The 5-7 receiver played at Basha HS last year in Chandler, where he was named Division 1 First team All-State. He was also a Prep-Star All-West Region, and was a kick and punt returner along with receiving. In fact, he was an All-Arizona specialist selection.
"All the freshman wideouts have a chance just because the numbers are there," added Rodriguez on Tuesday. "It's a good class."
Senior QB B.J. Denker was also asked about which freshmen stand out to him, and Nate Phillips was the first guy that came to his mind.
"He's been good, he's picked up the offense. He runs great routes, really fast, has great hands. He's probably been the biggest surprise."
"Nate's probably jumped out the biggest on offense."
So when games finally roll around, don't be surprised to a see a true freshman out there in the slot. And hopefully everyone calls him Nate instead of James so there's no confusion over who's actually out there playing.