Arizona Wildcats Football Training Camp Report: Day 1

With mostly morning workouts during the preseason, Arizona hopes to avoid both extreme midday heat and Tucson’s summer rainstorms. He went 1 for 2 on Day 1 of training camp.

Light rain fell at the start of Arizona’s first practice session Wednesday morning, with the clouds dissipating for the second half of the 100-minute practice. Despite having access to an indoor court, the team practiced outdoors the entire time with most activity on a second grass court set up just south of the beach volleyball courts.

Expect the Wildcats to spend most of camp on these outdoor courts, coach Jedd Fisch said, as UA prepares for a season opener Sept. 3 at San Diego State which will be played on grass.

“I think the grass is the advantage, (of) being on the grass as much as possible,” he said. “It’s better on your legs, it’s better on your body. A nice playing surface.

Arizona Stadium has a new turf for 2022, but it’s artificial like the one that’s been there since 2013. When asked if he would have liked the playing field to be grass, Fisch gave the impression that it was not possible.

“It wasn’t a situation we really had an option with,” he said.

Beyond the surface itself, having access to a second outdoor court (and third overall) can help Arizona in its plan to often divide the team in order to get more reps for more players.

“It opens up the practice,” Fisch said. “You kinda feel like you can talk a bit more like hey, that’s what the best programs have, it’s the two big grass pitches, the indoor facility and just keep building that with our guys. And let them know that the more we can give them, the better off they will be.

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The first practice wasn’t heavy on live games, with players wearing only headsets, and likely won’t be until next week when the squad is full. Fisch said shoulder pads can be added in practice three on Friday, with full shoulder pads coming Tuesday in practice No. 6.

Any red zone, all the time

Arizona used only the far edges of its fields Wednesday, working exclusively in the red zone in its effort to improve in that area. Last year, the Wildcats were historically bad on both sides of the ball, scoring touchdowns on less than 31% of red-zone possessions while giving up touchdowns more than 76% of the time.

“We’ve been living there all morning, we’ll be living there all morning for the next four days,” Fisch said. “We haven’t been in the (middle of the) peloton once. We won’t be in the field at all for the next four days. Everything we will do inside the 25 meter line.

To spam (and eggs) or not to spam

For as much time as Fisch spent recruiting the quarterback Noah Fifita and his teammates at Servite High School last year, there’s one staple of this group he’s managed to avoid: spam and eggs.

A common breakfast dish in Hawaii and within the Polynesian community, it is also part of the Twitter bio of Fifita’s mother, Winnona (aka @mrsFeef). But it’s apparently not for Fisch.

“I haven’t received any spam or eggs, and I don’t anticipate getting any spam or eggs,” he said.

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Something is missing, says the quarterback Laura’s Jaydena native of Hawaii who says he grew up on it.

“If you’re from Hawaii, people say it’s poor man’s food, but it’s like our everyday food,” he said.

Other notables

  • Come back DJ Williams, a transfer from Florida State who began his career at Auburn, will be in practice Thursday after missing the first practice. Fisch said that was due to Williams’ final grade at FSU in order to graduate and not post until Wednesday morning.
  • Cornerbacks Coach DeWayne Walker certainly has a type when it comes to the kind of players he likes. Signatories 2022 Ephesians Prysock and Tacario Davis are 6 feet 3 inches with long arms.
  • Freshman in red shirt Kolbe Cagewho only played in the Territorial Cup last season, is in the running to start at inside linebacker.

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