No college football team is ever at full strength during spring practice, if for no other reason than that the majority of its newcomers aren’t set to arrive until the summer.
That’s only part of the issue for the Arizona Wildcats. The other is the injury bug, which is starting to spread through the team as it enters the final handful of spring practices.
Out for the remainder of the spring ball is junior tight end Bryce Wolma, who has had his right arm in a sling due to a broken bone in his elbow. Coach Kevin Sumlin said Saturday he expects him to make a full recovery and be back long before preseason camp begins in late July.
Also dealing with a broken bone is Josh Donovan, one of two junior college offensive linemen Arizona brought in to beef up that group. Sumlin said he’s “practicing and scrimmaging,” though, indicating the injury is minor.
Arizona’s defensive line, already thin during spring ball, has had to do without JUCO transfer Myles Tapusoa as he deals with undisclosed injuries as well as conditioning issues. A second JUCO defensive lineman, Trevon Mason, isn’t set to arrive until the summer after originally being listed as a mid-year enrollee.
“Those numbers don’t match up with where we want to be right now,” Sumlin said of the D-line.
Because of this, junior defensive end JB Brown is being cross-trained to play on the interior, setting him up to potentially have a role similar to the one PJ Johnson had in his lone season with the Wildcats in 2018. Furthering that potential similarity was Sumlin initially referring to “JB” as “PJ,” then after realizing his mistake noting that he’s still missing Johnson and his versatility.
Arizona has three more regular practices this week before wrapping things up with the spring game on Saturday, April 13 inside Arizona Stadium.