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Arizona Football Spring Game standouts

Mike Luke Avatar
April 11, 2022

Every year there is a player who emerges during Arizona Football Spring Camp and catches not only the eyes of coaches but the casual fan as well. This year, that player was freshman quarterback Noah Fifita.

The diminutive signal caller is viewed by many as an underdog, but that is incredibly shortsighted as Fifita can make all the throws necessary and escape the pocket to avoid trouble.

Yes, Fifita does have a propensity to see his passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage, but this is a player who is wise beyond his years and was the best quarterback on the field during the Spring Game.

Jayden De Laura will no doubt start in the season opener, but this quarterback race certainly became a little bit closer than most would have ever thought. And that’s a good thing.

Linebacker Hunter Echols was consistently the best pass rusher throughout camp, and that carried into the Spring Game as he was able to collect a sack and involve himself in other quarterback hurries.

Projecting an upperclassman that hasn’t done much into a star is always tricky, but the USC transfer has certainly looked the part, and quite frankly, Arizona needs him to become that guy.

For five years, Jalen Harris has been the pass rusher that each coaching staff has looked to break out, and while Harris has been solid, that emergence has never quite happened.

The sixth-year senior appears bigger and more gifted than the rest of the players on the line and compiled a solid Arizona Football Spring Game. He is more than capable of being a 7-8 sack type of player. This is his last go of it, and Arizona needs him to take the next step.

Hybrid safety/linebacker Christian Young took a lot of verbal punishment last season due to the openness of his playing position, but in this camp, he has consistently made plays in the secondary while wrapping up ball carriers for big losses.

Young is a captain and one of the most talented players on this defense. He stood out Saturday. Will he be able to continue that production under the big lights?

Due to the blocking aspect of the position, tight end is a difficult spot for a freshman to break into, but with his frame and ball skills, it’s going to be difficult to keep Keyan Burnett off the field.

Burnett’s first catch of the Spring Game, a sit-down at midfield down for 15 yards, exemplified his prowess as he boxed out the covering safety.

His next catch, a touchdown where he blew by his defender to the flat, showcased his athleticism. Burnett certainly needs to continue to put on good weight, but he has tools that Arizona fans haven’t seen at this position since Rob Gronkowski left campus more than 10 years ago.

The running back unit is clearly an open competition, and freshman Jonah Coleman didn’t show out the way that some others on this list did, but all throughout camp he showed more potential than the rest of the group. Considering he received the bulk of the early-game carries, it certainly indicates a big role in the immediate future.

Making Coleman even more intriguing, he possesses a frame and the ability to make players miss that is unique to this roster. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Coleman is the feature back by some point during his freshman season.

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