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Spring Football Starts on the 27th
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/14/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Football is Back in Action Soon

(Spring Depth Chart shown below...)

Arizona head coach Mike Stoops and the UA football team hit the field for spring practice beginning Monday, March 27,

WR    10

Mike Thomas

CB    5

Antoine Cason

OT    76

Peter Graniello

WR    1

Syndric Steptoe

SS    23

Michael Johnson

DE   55

Marcus Smith

for drills that will last about a month until the annual Spring Game culminates drills April 22.

Stoops and staff welcome back 17 starters, nine of those on defense, plus a group of 43 returning lettermen and a solid nucleus of young players who redshirted the 2005 season.

Returning veterans expected to lead in spring ball on offense are sophomore pass-catch duo, quarterback Willie Tuitama and wide receiver Mike Thomas, junior tackle Peter Graniello and senior receiver and returner Syndric Steptoe. Defensively, Stoops will look to his secondary -- junior corners Antoine Cason and Wilrey Fontenot and senior safety Michael Johnson -- as an anchor on a unit coaches expect to be vastly improved. Other returning starters include linebackers Spencer Larsen (junior), Dane Krogstad (junior) and Ronnie Palmer (soph), defensive ends Johnathan Turner (soph) and Marcus Smith (senior), and junior tackles Yaniv Barnett and Lionel Dotson.

Senior kicker Nick Folk will have a firm grip on place kicking duties and could punt again after leading the league in average as a fill-in replacement for injured All-American Danny Baugher the last third of the season.

Among simple questions is who will follow three-year starter Mike Bell, a candidate for the 2006 NFL draft, at the top running back position. Junior letterman Chris Henry and promising redshirt freshman Xavier Smith get top mention, with several incoming recruits pegged for serious consideration in the fall. Offensive coaches also will look to solidfy a pecking order on the offensive line. Veterans in Graniello, Tanner Bell, Adam Hawes, Joe Longacre and Erick Levitre will work to fend off redshirts Daniel Borg, Eben Britton and Blake Kerley, along with mid-year transfer James Tretheway, a juco All-American.  Junior receiver Anthony Johnson, an '05 starter in many formations, will look to widen the gap between his experience and what many feel is a superior group of  freshmen receivers to join the team in August.

On defense, UA has to replace free safety Darrell Brooks and defensive end Copeland Bryan, two players at the NFL Combine last month. But senior end Marcus Smith was able to redshirt after an injury ended his '05 season in the second game, and brings back two years' of starting experience. At free safety, sophomore Brandon Tatum enters spring as the top prospect. UA signed a full secondary in the Feburary recruiting period and will test those newcomers swiftly in August.

Stoops and staff will work with about 75 players in spring ball. One newcomer on the staff is tight ends coach Dana Dimel, who joined the staff in January. He' a veteran with head coaching experience at Houston and Wyoming.

Practices will not be open except to high school coaches and former players, although two tentatively scheduled scimmages in Arizona Stadium and the culminating Spring Game are free public events. (Media should contact the UA athletics media relations office for policies.)

Arizona Spring Practice Dates

Monday, March 27

Wednesday, March 29

Friday, March 31 (Coaches Clinic)

Saturday, April 1 (Morning scrimmage, Clinic)

Monday, April 3

Wednesday, April 5

Friday, April 7

Saturday, April 8 (scrimmage)

Monday, April 10

Wednesday, April 12

Thursday, April 13

Monday, April 17

Wednesday, April 19

Thursday, April 20

(Friday, April 21 ?- FB Lettermen’s Golf Tournament)

Saturday, April 22 ?- Spring Game

 

2006 Arizona Spring Depth Chart

 

Wildcat Offense   

WR

  1 Syndric Steptoe

5-9

185

Sr. 3L

 

10 Mike Thomas 1L

5-8

178

So. 1L

 

89 Bobby McCoy

6-1

190

So.* SQ

LT

76 Peter Graniello

6-6

285

Jr.  2L

 

79 Adam Grant

6-6

280

Fr*  RS

 

78 James Tretheway

6-6

300

Jr.  JC

LG

74 Adam Hawes

6-4

302

Sr.  1L

 

62 Bill Wacholz

6-6

294

So.* SQ

 

73 Eddie Rollmann

6-4

290

So.* SQ

C

71 Erick Levitre+

6-1

282

Sr.* 2L

 

50 Blake Kerley

6-2

280

Fr.* RS

RG

75 Joe Longacre

6-3

303

So.* 1L

 

68 Daniel Borg

6-5

280

Fr.* RS

RT

72 Tanner Bell

6-8

294

Sr.* 3L

 

77 Eben Britton

6-6

285

Fr.* RS

TE

86 Travis Bell

6-6

245

So.* 1L

 

87 Brandyn McCall

6-4

245

Jr.* RS

 

81 Ryan Kilpatrick

6-3

252

Jr.* 1L

   inj

17 Brad Wood

6-3

250

Sr.  2L

WR

 9  Anthony Johnson

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