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Arizona football: A look at the Wildcats’ quarterbacks entering training camp

Our position-by-position preseason breakdown begins!

arizona-wildcats-football-preseason-preview-quarterbacks-jayden-delaura-noah-fitita-brayden-dorman Arizona Athletics

Arizona will begin preseason training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 2, a month of workouts and practices to get the Wildcats prepared for the 2023 season that opens Sept. 3 against NAU.

To get you primed for camp, we’re breaking down each position group on the roster. Today we start with the quarterbacks.

Players on roster: 4 (3 scholarship, 1 walk-on)

Projected starter: Jayden de Laura (Jr.)

De Laura is coming off one of the best seasons in school history, throwing for the third-most yards (3,685) and sixth-most touchdowns (25), and is locked into the starting job for a second year in a row. The only reason he won’t be on the field is if he’s hurt or the game is out of hand.

It’s been a tumultuous spring and summer for de Laura, as it was learned in early May he had been accused of sexual assault in high school in Hawaii and has reportedly settled a civil lawsuit stemming from those accusations. He and head coach Jedd Fisch both addressed the claims for the first time at Pac-12 Media Day, each refuting reports that de Laura pled guilty and was convicted of any crimes.

The hope for both player and team is that, now that he’s spoken about this publicly, it can be pushed to the side and allow the upcoming season to be de Laura’s sole focus. Whether that is possible remains to be seen.

De Laura spent time this offseason working with a quarterback coach—ironically, ex-ASU passer Taylor Kelly—and spent time at both a QB lab in California and the Manning Passing Academy. Among the things he likely worked on were maximizing his running ability and minimizing his mistakes (13 interceptions and four lost fumbles).

This would mark the first time since 2019 that Arizona has the same starting quarterback for consecutive season openers.

Top backups: Noah Fifita (R-Fr.), Brayden Dorman (Fr.)

Fifita got his feet wet a few times in mop-up duty a year ago, and looked both like a true freshman and someone who has a natural feel for the game. He should be de Laura’s understudy when the season begins, but Dorman showed flashes during spring ball and should make the backup competition much better than it was a year ago.

Dorman, a 4-star prospect from Colorado, is the highest-rated QB to sign with Arizona in school history, and at 6-foot-5 he’s a completely different type of player from 6-foot JDL and 5-11 Fifita.

Next up: Running backs