Pac-12 Football Media Day has come and gone, with most of the discussions in Los Angeles about teams and programs in general. But there were some specifics that Arizona coach Jedd Fisch delved into as the Wildcats move closer to the start of preseason training camp.
Two veteran players who missed spring practice due to foot surgery, wide receiver Jamarye Joiner and defensive lineman Kyon Barrs, are expected to be at 100 percent when workouts begin Wednesday.
“I think they’re both cleared to go,” Fisch said. :I look forward to watching both of them be able to participate. They’ve both done a great job with rehab. We came out here to LA for surgery and both used the Rams’ physician, and did a fantastic job of getting both those kids back healthy.”
For Joiner, a fifth-year redshirt junior, this is his third surgery to repair a Jones fracture initially suffered during the 2019 season. He missed spring ball in 2020, playing that fall, but the re-injured the foot during Arizona’s spring game in 2021, causing him to miss the first several games of last season.
Barrs, a fourth-year junior, was limited by an ankle injury during training camp last year and missed two games last October. If healthy, he is expected to be an anchor on the defensive line and has garnered some preseason accolades including being on the watch lists for the Outland and Lott IMPACT trophies and also landing a second-team preseason Pac-12 nod.
De Laura’s job to lose
Fisch was asked Friday when he would be ready to name a starting quarterback for this season, and though he didn’t come right out and say so he pretty much indicated that Jayden de Laura will be Arizona’s starter for the Sept. 3 opener at San Diego State.
“Jayden will take all the reps with the ones,” Fisch said of de Laura, a transfer from Washington State who was the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year in 2021.
De Laura threw for 2,789 yards and 23 touchdowns last season at WSU, including 259 yards and a career-high four TDs against Arizona.
With him all but locking up the starting gig, camp practices will be to determine who backs him up from the lot of redshirt junior Jordan McCloud, redshirt sophomore Gunner Cruz or true freshman Noah Fifita. Redshirt sophomore Will Plummer, who started seven games in 2021, had shoulder surgery in April and is expected to miss a good chunk of this season.