8/16 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez

Rich Rodriguez discusses the freshmen on Saturday. Read on to see who is likely to play, the freshmen wall, and more.

  • Arizona is going to have contributions from numerous running backs this season and Rich Rodriguez compared Jonathan Haden and Nick Wilson on Saturday.

    "They’re similar in the respect that they both have quick twitch and they run it well," Rodriguez said. "Wilson is a bigger guy. Haden is a guy who is going to play both in the slot and at running back.

    "He’s one of the quickest guys we have on the team. Nick is a bigger, more physical guy. Both of them look like they have a chance to play as freshmen."

  • Trevor Wood has stepped up as a major option on option and seems to be a lock to play this season.

    "He’s a freshman who is probably going to play," Rodriguez said. "He’s a big, physical guy. He’s still learning. He’s a really hard worker. He’s going to be a really, really good player. Everything we thought we got with Trevor, we got.”

    When discussing the freshmen that have picked everything up the quickest, Rodriguez pointed to a handful of players.

    "Haden is picking it up really quick," he said. "Tony Ellison at wide receiver is picking it up real quick. Wilson, Denson, Wood.

    "Sometimes we forget they’re freshmen. It’s a good class, that’s for sure. I like both of the freshmen quarterbacks too, Dawkins and Werlinger.”

  • Blair Tushaus transferred in from BYU and it appears he will have a role right away.

    “He’s going to play some tight end," Rodriguez said. "He’s playing a lot special teams, almost all of them. He’s a tough, smart guy. I’m glad he’s here. With Josh Kern out, it’s just him and Trevor Wood taking all the reps at tight end.”

    There has been a thought among fans and some coaches that there is a freshman wall, but Rodriguez does not necessarily agree with that belief.

    "Back in the day when they weren’t here for the summer, and you had six or seven two-a-days, they’d hit the wall a lot sooner," Rodriguez said.

    "But now if they’re here for most of the summer and they’re in decent shape, the way practices are structured, it’s not really the true grind. Everyone says it’s a grind. It’s not a grind.”

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