The annual Pac-12 Media Day took place in Los Angeles on Friday morning, and these are the key takeaways from Arizona Football following the event.
Joined by UTEP transfer Jacob Cowing and Arizona safety Christian Young, head coach Jedd Fisch, and Arizona Football took part in the annual Pac-12 Media Day hosted on Friday.
Hosted at The Novo at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, the Wildcats were up fifth at the event, following Colorado and head coach Karl Dorrell. And following the event, these were some of the major takeaways from the Wildcats.
Arizona is introducing a lot of fresh, new faces and should be a better group in 2022:
"“We have a bunch of new players and new coaches that have come in through both the coach transfer portal and the player transfer portal… And now it’s our job and it’s our goal to be better this season than we were last and continue to build off of our offseason.”“We’re a better football team. The players that were on our roster last year that are on our roster this year have improved. They’ve committed to being better in the weight room, they’ve committed to being better in film study, they’ve committed to being better fundamentally… We’ll have to see if our team can come together in this training camp and how well we can play as a team. And if we can do that, then I think we’ll be a better football team as well.”"
The Wildcats are coming off a 1-11 season, and the work Fisch and Arizona have done to overhaul this roster cannot be stated enough.
With players like Jayden de Laura, Hunter Echols, DJ Williams, DJ Warnell, and T-MAC along with several others coming in, from a talent and depth standpoint, the Wildcats should be better team from top-to-bottom.
However, now it is a matter of putting all those pieces together to build a winning product. Let’s see if the Wildcats can do it in 2022!
Arizona has to make progress in competing in games:
"“Sometimes our depth beat us, and it was really important for us moving forward that we built our program based on being able to play for all four quarters and 60 minutes. We had a lot of games that we were close, and then it got away from us. And we need to find a way to make sure from 2021 to 2022 that our process is enabling us to be successful by having depth at a lot of positions.”"
As stated previously, from a talent and depth standpoint, the Wildcats should be a better group from top-to-bottom. Now, you just hope that they can put it all together.
This isn’t to say Arizona is suddenly going to win six games and compete for a bowl game, but overall, this team should be more competitive, and the Wildcats should be in more games well into the fourth quarter.
Arizona has invested a lot in itself:
"“In the last 15 months, we spent $15 million. Every part of that was to rebrand, enhance and make our facility top in the conference. We’re excited about having a brand-new indoor facility that’s just two years old. And then everything else in our facility has been redone since I’ve arrived.”"
“It takes money to make money”, or so the saying goes. But in college football terms, it is all about keeping up with the Joneses in the ongoing facility arms race.
And if the Cats are to have an edge on the recruiting trail while staying relevant with student-athletes, facility upgrades aren’t just a necessity, they are essential to their vitality and livelihood as a competitive program.
If the Wildcats are going to stay competitive on the field, they need to continue to invest in themselves off the field, and the facility enhancements are a true indication of that.
Arizona has become a 33rd NFL Team:
"“We talk to our players all the time about being the 33rd NFL team based on our experiences in the league. We have 150 years of NFL experience on our staff and what we’ve done is we’ve tried to commit to allowing our players to see it from the inside out, to see what the NFL looks like.”"
The Wildcats offer a unique experience to its current and future players and that is extensive NFL experience from its coaching staff. That is something not many other college programs can offer.
If you want to gain exposure as a recruit and learn what it is like to be on an NFL Team, come to Tucson, and you can have that sort of experience while competing at a high level.
Arizona (specifically Kyonn Barrs and Jamarye Joiner) should healthy when camp starts:
"“I believe both of them will be starting August 3 playing in practice. I think they’re both cleared to go. So I look forward to watching both of them be able to participate. They’ve all done a great job with rehab. We came out here to LA for surgery and use the Rams physician and did a fantastic job in getting both those kids back healthy.”"
If Arizona is going to be successful this season, it is going to need all hands on deck, especially when it comes to talent like Barrs and Joiner. Hearing that both are healthy ahead of fall camp is about the best news the Wildcats could have received and should they remain healthy, they are going to have a big impact on this team.
You can watch Coach Fisch’s full press conference here!