Over the next week, Zona Zealots will be previewing the Arizona Wildcats’ 2013 roster in advance of their season opener against NAU on Aug. 30 (For the full list of position previews, click here).
RSr. Jake Fischer (Oro Valley, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge), Sr. Marquis Flowers (Phoenix/Millenium), Jr. Hank Hobson (Bakersfield, Calif./Stockdale), RSo. Sir Thomas Jackson (Seattle/O’Dea), So. Keoni Bush-Loo (Ewa Beach, Hawaii/Kamehameha), So. Dakota Conwell (Pittsburgh/Upper St. Clair), So. C.J. Dozier (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral), So. Cody Ippolito (Paradise Valley, Ariz./Chaparral)
Vaughn Brinkman, Tyler Ermisch, Devin Gordon, Rob Hankins (Medical Retirement), Greg Nwoko, Shadow Williams
Jr. Haden Gregory (San Pedro, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula HS/Long Beach C.C.), Fr. Ryan Dunn (Alamo, Calif./San Ramon Valley), Fr. Brian Keyes (Surprise, Ariz./Shadow Ridge), Fr. Jake Matthews (Tucson/Ironwood Ridge), Fr. DeAndre’ Miller (Buckeye, Ariz./Buckeye Union), Fr. Cole Ramseyer (La Canada Flintridge, Calif./St. Francis), Fr. Derrick Turituri (Central Point, Ore./Crater), Fr. Scooby Wright (Winsdor, Calif./Cardinal Newman)
Linebacker is the Arizona’s deepest defensive position, as the Wildcats will be set at the position for many years to come.
This year’s group is led by two All-Pac-12-caliber players in seniors Jake Fischer and Marquis Flowers. Last year, they combined for 219 tackles (19.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, five fumbles recovered and three interceptions. They also have 44 career starts between them.
Starting at the other linebacker position, according to Rich Rodriguez’ depth chart, will be true freshman Phillip “Scooby” Wright. The two-star recruit has impressed the coaches in practice and has surpassed Sir Thomas Jackson as the starting strongside linebacker. He’ll split time with sophomore Keoni Bush-Loo, who’s more of a pass-rushing specialist.
In addition to those four, the Wildcats have a lot of depth behind them. Hank Hobson and C.J. Dozier have started before, while Dakota Conwell and Cody Ippolito played last season as true freshmen. True freshmen Jake Matthews, Derrick Turituri and DeAndre’ Miller are all listed as backups on the two-deep, meaning they likely won’t be redshirted.
The Wildcats also have a solid group of linebackers in their 2014 recruiting class, including junior college transfer Antonio Smothers, and high school seniors Marquis Ware and Jamardre Cobb.
If the young linebackers are as good as advertised, the Arizona Wildcats will have a strong core to build around for the coming years.
Topics: 2013 Football Position Previews, Antonio Smothers, Arizona Wildcats, C.J. Dozier, Cody Ippolito, Dakota Conwell, Derrick Turituri, Follow, Index, Jake Fischer, Jake Matthews, Jamardre Cobb, Keoni Bush-Loo, Marquis Flowers, Marquis Ware, Rich Rodriguez, Scooby Wright, Sir Thomas Jackson