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Fall camp is almost here. This is part one of a position-by-position breakdown of Arizona football going into the season.
Jayden De Laura (sophomore) — The Arizona quarterback position figures to be drastically improved this season, and de Laura’s arrival is the overwhelming reason why. One can look at his 2,798 yards and 23 touchdowns from last season at Washington State and get the gist.
But it’s more than just the raw numbers. With a quick release and heady decision-making, de Laura is the perfect quarterback for Jedd Fisch’s offense.
Noah Fifita (freshman) — Barring injury, Fifita doesn’t figure to play much this season, but the word is out that he will get his shot at some point. Measuring in at 5-foot-8, Fifita might be the shortest quarterback in college football, but that didn’t stop him from showcasing a rocket arm and natural chemistry with the receiving unit in the spring game.
Jordan McCloud (junior) — Clearly the best quarterback on last season’s squad, McCloud is fully healthy and will compete with Fifita for the backup quarterback spot.
Drake Anderson (junior) — Anderson runs much tougher than his listed weight of 195 pounds, but there is nothing about him that screams feature back. Ideally, Anderson is more of a situational back.
Michael Wiley (junior) — Similar to Anderson, Wiley appears more of a specialist running back, but there is no denying some of the talent he showcased earlier in his career. Can Wiley rediscover some of that talent?
Jonah Coleman (freshman) — Coleman might not start the opener, but he will be given every opportunity to win the starting running back position. At a sturdy 5-foot-8 and 210 pounds, Coleman consistently churned out yards in fall camp and earned a starting spot in the spring game for a reason.
Dorian Singer (sophomore) — By the end of last season, Singer was clearly Arizona’s best wide receiver. He’s not incredibly dynamic, but the Chandler-native has sure hands with a knack for getting open. It remains to be seen what kind of role Singer will have, but there will be one.
Tetoiria McMillan (freshman) — The highest-rated wide receiver to ever sign with Arizona, McMillan should be an immediate impact player and the best jump-ball wide receiver the Wildcats have had since Juron Criner.
Jacob Cowing (junior) — One of the most sought-after transfers in the portal, Cowing probably won’t replicate his UTEP numbers of 1,354 yards and 7 touchdowns from last season. But if de Laura is able to build off his freshman of the year acclaim, this could be a one-year stop for Cowing before heading off to the NFL.
Kevin Green (freshman) — The ex-USC commit flashed potential all throughout the spring and continued his pace into the spring game. Green doesn’t come in with the fanfare of McMillan or the resume of Cowing, but he figures to have an immediate role and will likely be a stalwart of the Arizona receiving core for the next four seasons.
AJ Jones (freshman) — Jones is listed at 6-foot-4 but appears closer to 6-foot-6. It remains to be seen what kind of role Jones can carve out for Arizona football this season, but all the talent is there.
Jamarye Joiner (junior) — Joiner appeared on the verge of stardom after a strong finish to his freshman season, but injuries have dominated his last two seasons. If Joiner is healthy he is a force. Can he get and stay healthy?
Keyan Burnett (freshman) — The most talented and highest-rated tight end to sign with Arizona football since Rob Gronkowski, Burnett will get every opportunity to start. If his blocking is up to standard, Burnett should be an early impact player.
Upcoming preview: Offensive and defensive lines.
Follow Mike Luke on twitter @ironmikeluke
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