The Arizona Wildcats held their first practice of fall camp on Saturday, and while the news of Tra'Mayne Bondurant's departure dominated after practice, there were players that were actually there for practice.
It was the only practice that was open for the entire month according to the practice schedule, so there won't be a chance to see how some of these thing progress as we get closer to UNLV.
All of the quarterbacks were having a hard time completing passes, and Jesse Scroggins and Anu Solomon were out there throwing interceptions as well. The order of who was taking reps was constantly changing, but it seemed like Solomon had the most first-team reps. Brandon Dawkins also got plenty of reps, but also fumbled the snap on a number of occasions.
"We're looking for them to execute the offense," Rich Rodriguez said. "Don't be stupid."
A constant theme of the night was overthrows, and RichRod was going hard on the group, especially Jerrard Randall. Randall definitely overthrew his target the most. Those overthrows led to coach making the quarterback run and chase down the ball if they overthrew a "TD pass".
"I think it's just being stupid," Rodriguez said of all the overthrows. "They've been throwing together all summer, so that shouldn't happen."
"We're a lot further along this year than we were last year," Rodriguez added. "But I'll tell you what, B.J. Denker worked his tail off last year through August camp, and I think these guys will do the same thing.
"I think the talent is there at quarterback, it's just a matter of them being more consistent."
Jared Baker a full participant
The most pleasant surprise was the fact that Jared Baker was out there and a full participant with a hefty brace on that left knee. He was taking contact and had no special designation, unlike fellow knee injury guy Trevor Ermisch. Ermisch was in a green jersey as he continues to recover from his own knee injury suffered during the season last year.
Baker tore his ACL during the ASU game last year, meaning it's only been eight months since the surgery.
"I say he's ahead of schedule (with rehab)," Rodriguez stated about Baker. "But we expected him to be full-go. Now it's just getting that confidence back in his knee and being able to cut on it."
"That's one of my best friends," added Terris Jones-Grigsby. "He's my roommate, so I'm happy he's coming back out, splitting the one reps. Once we bring out the two-back sets, it's going to be a perfect fit for us. Him getting out quickly and a speedy recovery from his ACL is good for us."
"It seems like he hurt it a couple months ago and he's already back. He just took a rock right up the middle and it didn't even look like he's lost a step. He says he's healthy, and you can tell just by watching him."
I've talked about it a little bit before, but with the loss of Ka'Deem Carey, look for Arizona to have more sweep plays out of the backfield. This was the very first thing happening during practice. DaVonte' Neal, Tyrell (TJ) Johnson, Kaelin DeBoskie, and Samajie Grant were all getting a bunch of reps practicing sweep handoffs.
Two WRs suffer injuries
It's a good thing Arizona is so deep at wide receiver, because two injuries occurred on Saturday. Samajie Grant appeared to have tweaked his lower back, impacting most of practice for him. Then, towards the end of practice, Clive Georges suffered what looked to be a somewhat major hamstring injury.
Georges was unable to walk on it for the rest of practice, and he was saying on the sideline after it happened that it was the worst pain he's ever felt.
It also looked like Trey Griffey hurt his arm a bit, but afterwards he said he felt good.
Tight ends impress
Josh Kern and Trevor Wood both looked like they have the potential to be huge factors in the short passing game this year. Both are monsters (Kern 6-5, 229 and Wood 6-5, 251) and both look to have really soft hands.
Field Goal team struggles
It's kind of cliche to say at this point, but Arizona stinks at field goals. The FG team gets their practice in early, and it was not good to watch. The first snap went nowhere near the holder. The second snap, the holder couldn't get down. And although Casey Skowron looked good kicking, Jack Flatau was abyssmal.
The highly-touted freshman out of Salpointe is only listed at cornerback, and that's where he spent all of his time on Saturday. He did not look particularly impressive, nor did he look 100% healthy.
Last but not least, Marquis Ware. The freshman linebacker will likely miss all of fall camp due to a shoulder injury he suffered in high school and never successfully rehabbed. Coach Rodriguez did bring up a chance of Ware redshirting this season, but it's too early to tell.