Welcome to a new series in which we try to determine if the Arizona Wildcats’ position groups are in strong, stable, unstable, serious, or critical condition heading into fall camp. Next up are the safeties.
Projected starters: Tristan Cooper (spur), Jarrius Wallace (free), Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (Bandit)
Backups: Xavier Bell, Scottie Young Jr., Isaiah Hayes, Chacho Ulloa, Rhedi Short, Blake Pfaff, Dayven Coleman, Christian Young, Antonio Parks
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles leads this group as the lone senior. He’s contributed for three years, and had a strong sophomore season, but struggled a bit as a junior. Chacho Ulloa will be behind him, who could get some looks further into the season.
After injuries to Scottie Young Jr. and Isaiah Hayes, Jarrius Wallace propelled himself as the starting free safety. He came up big despite only playing in a handful of games and still has so much more potential.
Tristan Cooper took a backseat to Dane Cruikshank last season but looks to come back for his spur spot. Cooper could be one of the hardest hitting safeties in the league. Behind Cooper is Xavier Bell, another hard hitter, with a lot of size. He’ll likely see the field this season.
Scottie Young dealt with injuries and off-field issues as a true freshman. It will be interesting to see how involved he is on defense this season, as you would think he has to work his way back up the depth chart. Isaiah Hayes started as a true freshman, but injuries have derailed his trajectory.
A corner converted safety, Antonio Parks, can play multiple spots, but worked at free safety and spur throughout the spring. Rhedi Short is a highly skilled prospect who could play multiple spots as well.
Arizona has two extremely talented and versatile safeties coming in as well. Christian Young, who is by far my favorite commitment of the 2018 class, could probably play any of the three positions. I think spur and bandit seem more realistic given the solid depth at free and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him push DFF or Cooper for significant reps.
Dayven Coleman is an intriguing linebacker-safety hybrid, and he’ll likely be slotted into one position, either spur or weak side linebacker. He’s going to be a fun prospect to watch and will likely play immediately.
I was a little hesitant to say strong here. The quality and depth is there, as this was one of the most heavily recruiting positions under Rich Rodriguez. But there are still a few things that need to happen before this group solidifies.
The strength still depends on development of Jarrius Wallace and Tristan Cooper, however these are two that have extremely high ceilings. Wallace has a small sample size but it was impressive and Cooper has the potential to be a game changer. If DFF bounces back to his sophomore status, this can be an impressive group. Still, there are a few more questions.
What condition are Arizona’s safeties in?
This poll is closed