clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona football: Returners who are poised to excel in 2015

New, 2 comments

This a big year for some returning role players, who look to take on bigger responsibilities this year

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Denson

He got picked on a lot last year early in games as a true freshman, which definitely takes a toll on the confidence levels of a corner. He will still get attacked plenty of times, but with an entire season and spring under his belt, I think he's someone who is poised to make a big jump in year two.

He will still get beat, but his athleticism will take him far when it comes to adjusting his body, jumping his routes and playing the ball. He's my pick to lead the secondary in interceptions this season, one because he will get thrown to a lot, and two, because I think he's ready for the jump. Of course there's William Parks in the secondary, but I think Denson will be given many opportunities. He didn't play extensively last season, and with his smaller frame you wonder how much he can handle.

He told me that his main goal in the offseason was to get bigger and stronger, judging by this video from Arizona Football, he seems to have accomplished his goal.

Derrick Turituri

Expect Turituri to be the beneficiary of Scooby's presence on defense. He was already a big dude, but he looks even bigger this season. He doesn't have the exceptional speed to be out in coverage, which allows him to focus on the run stop. I expect him to come up big and increase the number of sacks this year as well.

He's expanded his role each and every year since he started playing as a true freshman, learning from Jake Fischer and now Scooby Wright III. He was in on 11 tackles as a freshman, 44 as a sophomore, and in his junior campaign I expect about 60-70 tackles from him.

Trevor Wood

With Rich Rodriguez' implementation of tight ends this season, he's going to have a big impact on the offense that will likely go unnoticed. He has the frame of a true tight end, 6-5 251lbs, and can be used in the passing game across the middle.

But where I think he will truly excel is the blocking game. With so much movement on the offensive line, due to Carter Wood's injury, the line could probably use some extra help from time to time with a tight end, while also being a vertical threat. He'll be utilized in the offense in one way or another, and will contribute as a huge target for Anu Solomon.

Josh Kern

Another tight end here in Josh Kern, 6-5 229lbs. He's definitely the more athletic tight end of the two, which is why I expect him to be more of a receiving threat for Arizona. He may only have 20-30 catches this season, but having the option of the tight end will spread the defense out even more and cause more headaches to cover. With two tight ends at 6-5, this is a deadly redzone package in the making.

DeAndre' Miller

Plagued by a shoulder injury, DeAndre' Miller hopes to bounce back to form in 2015. He's been running with the second team defense and should be able to get some solid reps to help the depth out. Rich Rodriguez seems to like him a lot, and he's someone who a lot of people have been whispering about. He was also named defensive player of the day at Hard Edge Camp the other day as well.

Luca Bruno

He's come a long way since he arrived on campus and has worked his way up, performing exceptionally well this offseason and is poised to take on some playing time on the defensive line. He's listed at 6-4 264, which would give Arizona two big bodies at the end of the defensive line, with Reggie Gilbert listed at 6-4 262lbs.

To beat out guys at camp including senior Jeff Worthy, who played a respectable amount despite injuries, is pretty impressive to see from the redshirt sophomore. This is his chance to solidify his spot on the defensive line for the next three years.

Tony Ellison/Tyrell Johnson

There are a lot of options at receiver for Anu Solomon, and there are two who will surprise this year. Tony Ellison was a guy many people liked in the spring. He won't get a whole lot of snaps considering the depth ahead of him, but he's a name going forward that could be huge for Arizona. Just a redshirt freshman, he could be the leader of the next big group of receivers once Grant, Griffey, Jones and Phillips all leave.

Tyrell Johnson is an explosive playmaker who wasn't all that involved in the offense this year. He only caught the ball 14 times last season for 120 yards, failing to record a reception in five of the 14 games. Rodriguez should have a better gameplan for him now and can utilize him in more ways than one. It wouldn't be surprising to see him end up with about 35 catches for 400 yards this season.