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Arizona football training camp: Freshman safety Genesis Smith taking right steps forward

arizona-wildcats-football-preseason-genesis-smith-safety-freshman-texas-2023 Arizona Athletics

Arizona football freshman safety Genesis Smith had a good spring and he continues to impress coming into training camp. His position coach is particularly in awe of the first-year player’s progress.

“You talked about communicating, being on the same page, running the show, as a freshman, he just got here, he does all that,” assistant coach Chuck Cecil said. “Usually that’s a growing process, he’s put it into high gear. And oh, by the way, it’s not an accident. He comes in and does a lot of things on his own, and he puts in the time and he puts in the work. So it’s not top secret that he is where he is.”

Cecil spoke high praise of the 6-foot-2 Smith and sees him making an impact in his first year.

“He’s one of those guys that’s going to compete to be a starter,” Cecil said. “And again, I think we’re gonna get in a situation where we might have starters, but everybody’s gonna play. Because that’s what when you have guys that are all worthy of playing. We might rotate him in the game as well.”

Smith’s extra work will only elevate the safety group, and head coach Jedd Fisch during Arizona Football Media Day said that position is wide open and how they are counting on the new players to make an impact.

“Guys that came here this past year, we’re counting on freshmen again and transfers again, to make a huge impact in the success of our program.” Fisch said.

Smith believes preseason camp will bring the safety group together and the position battle will elevate all of their games.

“I feel like we’re just gonna go in there compete and we always work together, create a brotherhood and the best man will be on the field,” he said. “I feel like it’s good to have competition and it breeds the best out of us so I feel like just embracing competition.”

Smith believes his high school practices at Hamilton in Chandler set him up for success when he got to Arizona.

“I feel like Hamilton prepared us pretty good,” he said. “We had a college-like practice so I felt like the practice was set up pretty well for me to come in and kind of translate it into college.”

Smith being on hand for spring practice has given him a head start on getting comfortable with the Arizona defense and being vocal at his safety position.

“I definitely had to get adjusted quickly because early on, I was a little bit quiet, a little timid, just getting to know everybody at first,” he said. “I feel like coming to spring, it definitely helped a lot getting more familiar with the guys and just getting more comfortable and then I was obviously more comfortable on the field to speak and speak up.”