The Arizona Wildcats held their annual spring football game on Saturday, though this one generated a lot more buzz than the others.
It was the first of the Jedd Fisch era and featured special guests like Rob Gronkowski, Tedy Bruschi, Tommy Lloyd, Adia Barnes and dozens of other UA alumni. Plus, fans were allowed in attendance for the first time since 2019.
Our full recap of the 17-13 game can be read here and below is what Fisch had to say afterwards.
Opening statement: “Appreciate everybody coming out to the game, appreciate our fans, appreciate our students, and obviously appreciate our football alumni and honorary head coaches. And most importantly, I appreciate our players and our coaches for having a heck of a spring. We were able to manage to do it all, stay healthy. Dr. (Stephen) Paul did an amazing job of making sure we didn’t miss one thing. So, super cool, and proud of our guys and now it’s time to get to work. Summer time will be a big one for us.”
On his goals for the day: “Have fun, stay healthy, compete. Those are three. But how fun was probably number two behind staying healthy. That was the key, and I think we were able to do that.”
On freshman running back/Tucson native Stevie Rocker having a role in the fall: “We’ll see. He should be at the prom tonight, I think. He had a good spring, practiced every day, and didn’t miss any time. And if you’re gonna do that, that tells me you’re mature and you know how to take care of yourself.”
On the atmosphere at Arizona Stadium with fans: “I’d like to get the music louder, but we’ll work on that. But other than that, I think that people started really recognizing what we want to get done here, the energy level, the excitement, the enthusiasm, and I think we’re taking steps in the right direction.”
On the backstory behind Rob Gronkowski catching a football from a helicopter: “We work with a company that is gonna produce our YouTube channel for us. And it’s an outstanding company called Liquid Light that runs Cam Newton’s YouTube channel, the Rock’s YouTube channel and Kevin Hart’s among many others. And when we started working with them recently, this past week, one of their biggest things was Guinness records. They did a Dude Perfect record. They’ve done many too with Cam. And we came up with the idea of how about the highest altitude catch? From 563 feet is what it was. It’s now 620 feet by Rob Gronkowski.”
On how a viral video like that can help the program: “Well, I’m hopeful that every high school player in America wants to come here. And if we get every good high school football player in America that wants to be an Arizona Wildcat, it’ll benefit our program and we’ll start winning a lot of games. We have everything here. I’ve said it numerous times. We have it all. College campus, great athletics, great fan support, a stadium right in the heart of the campus, and great academics to be able to be a part of. Why wouldn’t would you come to Arizona? And we thought it was a great opportunity to showcase that.”
On the program’s creativeness: “I think we every year have to figure out what we want to do. One of our core mottos is we want to be proficient, resilient, and original. We don’t want to replicate, duplicate and do things we’ve done before. But we’re always going to try to be interactive the best we can in these situations.”
On his jacket: “Every other day we practice at (Dick) Tomey Field and we see that mural of him in this jacket, or pretty close to it. And I just said to Barry, our equipment manager, I said, You know what, Barry? We’ve got to honor the best head coach that’s been here, the guy that’s really turned Desert Swarm into what it was and had those years in the 90s that everybody wants to refer to and talk about. And I said let’s try to honor him with a jacket and to be able to wear it at our first spring game.”
On his takeaways from the football action: “I don’t know. I feel like I was a little too busy spraying the student section with a hose and water balloons halfway through the game. So I didn’t really see much of every schematic aspect of the game. We had a bunch of trick plays and we did a lot of stuff we’re not going to be doing in the fall, so I’m not going to spend too much time reviewing this film. I just wanted the guys to go out play hard compete, give everything they’ve got, and have fun while doing it.”
On the message to the quarterbacks: “Get ready for a war. They’re going to compete and if they want to be the starting quarterback here in September, then they better be ready to compete. They got another guy coming in, you got a bunch of guys here, and I hope they’re ready for a lot of battles to see who’s gonna come out on top in September.”