By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Stoops: Wildcats' health improving
The Arizona football team is recovering from bumps and bruises from camp, but there is still no word on junior free safety Darrell Brooks.
Head coach Mike Stoops doesn't know yet about the status of Brooks, who has been out of practice since last week and is on crutches.
"It is still inconclusive what we found out, so we're still trying to get some things finalized. We don't have anything definite yet. That's as honest as I can be," Stoop said.
On Saturday Stoops said Brooks had a bruise or possibly an infection, and the starting safety had been experiencing pain in his upper right leg.
The honorable mention All-Pac-10 performer was the Wildcats' third leading tackler with 79 (55 solo) and also contributed an interception and one fumble recovery.
Meanwhile Stoops said that a separate flu like virus going around the team wasn't seriously affecting anyone. Anyone other than him, that is.
"It's affected me; I don't know about anybody else," Stoops said. "We're getting healthier as we speak."
Television's newest stars
ESPN will air a segment on the Arizona football program Friday during its SportsCenter as part of its college football "Resurrection Week" coverage.
The segment on Stoops and the UA is the fifth of ESPN's five-part series about famous coaches who are at troubled programs or getting fresh starts of their own in the college game. Monday's installment featured former Washington State and Alabama coach Mike Price and his new job at UTEP, while yesterday's segment centered around on George O'Leary and his team at Central Florida. Price never coached a game at Alabama, as he was fired amid a scandal involving a stripper while on a trip in South Florida. O'Leary was hired at Notre Dame two years ago, only to be fired days later after it was discovered that his résumé stated incorrect information. Tonight, Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom - the first black head coach in Southeastern Conference history - will be featured, followed by Nebraska's Bill Callahan tomorrow.
Fraser on watch list for top center award
Senior center Keoki Fraser was named to a watch list as one of the nation's top centers yesterday.
The Dave Rimington trophy, presented by Canon USA and Black & Decker, is awarded to the top center in college football each season.
"(The) college football season is about anticipation and execution. We are looking forward to tracking our watch list candidates as the season progresses," Rimington said in a release. "Each season we look to highlight the top centers in the country through our watch list as well as the weekly Rimington Reports and in 2004 we feel that we have a very exciting group of young men."
The trophy recipient is determined by a consensus of the four All-American teams: the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the America Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers Association of America and The Sporting News.
Past winners include Miami's Brett Romberg, Ohio State's LeCharles Bentley and Nebraska's Dominic Raiola.
Rimington was a consensus first team All-American for the Huskers and is the only double winner of the John Outland Trophy for the country best interior lineman.
Wildcats shift focus to early opponents
With the end of training camp, the UA has started to install NAU and Utah's offense and defense into its practice scheme in preparation for their early games.
The season opener is Sept. 4 against NAU at Arizona Stadium.
"We've competed against our own offense for the last two weeks and wanted to get some early preparation in for other opponents," Stoops said.
Staff still deciding on who will redshirt
With two weeks plus of practice under their belts, the coaches are starting to get a clearer picture of which newcomers to play and which to redshirt.
Stoops said junior tight end Brad Wood, junior corner back Dramayne McElroy, freshman defensive end Johnathan Turner, freshman cornerback Antoine Cason and freshman free safety Dominic Patrick will play.
"We try to save their redshirts, we don't want to waste a whole year," Stoops said.
Stoops doesn't think any of his new receivers will play and is not sure yet about the offensive linemen, but he is still impressed with his first class.
"We thought they were good players when we recruited them and they turned out to be good players," Stoops said. "We couldn't be more pleased. It's a fabulous class."