Phillips ready for the season

Nate Phillips

Nate Phillips spent some of the off-season recovering from a shoulder injury. Read on to find out how he is progressing through camp, how the other receivers are doing and more.

Arizona sophomore Nate Phillips burst on the scene in 2013, jumping straight into action as a true freshman, catching 51 balls for 696 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Phillips missed the spring with a shoulder injury, but has been working hard to remain as one of the top receivers for the Wildcats this fall.

"Everything has been going good so far in camp," Phillips said. "I have been getting my timing down with my routes and the quarterbacks. It's all coming together."

Heading into his second season with Arizona, Phillips is looking at fall camp a little differently this time.

"I think this year, I know what to expect and that's what's most different," he said. "I'm ready for the two-a-days and anything the coaches can throw at us. It isn't as big of a shock as it was last year."

Even though Phillips was thrust onto the field almost immediately, he still had some adjustments to go through.

"Having that year under my belt has made a big difference," Phillips said. "Being in the college football atmosphere and being out there on the field has definitely helped me adjust to the speed of the game quicker. The speed was the biggest thing that I needed to adjust to."

With the injury, the receiver missed some quality reps in the spring and that is part of the reason that Phillips believes he made the biggest leap during last season.

"I definitely had a bigger jump during the season," he said. "Being out there and getting experience was the best thing for me. After the first couple of weeks I was pretty well adjusted and that was a big leap for me."

With the uncertainty at quarterback, the receivers have been seeing passes from as many as four different arms throughout practices. However, that hasn't bothered the receivers from focusing on their game.

"We know our quarterbacks," Phillips said. "We know that one may have a little more zip than another, but we mostly worry about timing in our system. There's a throw on a three count and catch and throws, so that's really what we worry about."

In addition to several incoming freshmen that have shown promise for the Wildcats, the receiving corps welcomed Davonte' Neal and Cayleb Jones. It hasn't phased the sophomore, but it has made him work harder.

"Playing with the guys we have is fun and challenging," Phillips said. "There's no set lineup or order, so we are all fighting for a spot right now. Having the talent that we all have is forcing the coaches to expect more of us and it is making us have to work harder to be better than the guy next to us."

As the middle of camp came and went, the receivers have been given mixed reviews from Rich Rodriguez. Phillips knows that his team isn't where it needs to be, but has confidence that it will get there.

"I definitely think we will be ready when the season gets here," he said. "I don't think we are ready now, but there are still a few weeks worth of practices left to go. We will be ready for the first game."

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