LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Arizona Football was represented by wide receiver Jacob Cowing and safety Christian Young along with Head Coach Jedd Fisch at the Pac-12 Media Day this week in Los Angeles.
On the cusp of a new season, the Pac-12 held its annual media day in downtown Los Angeles at the JW Marriott Hotel and The Novo with representatives from all 12 teams in attendance.
. @CoachJeddFisch representing. ????#ItsPersonal | #RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/eaflmPFYmV
We see you???? @cy_cinco https://t.co/nRST0xwOtt
Head Coach Jedd Fisch answered questions from the media at the main podium.
Q. Do you feel your NFL background, when you are recruiting, is a differentiator versus some of the other places that historically have competed more in college football?
Coach Fisch: Yeah, I hope so. I think a lot of people talk about that they can get you to the next level or they know what the next level looks like, but you actually have to be there to know it”
“I feel like it gives us an opportunity based on the relationships we have with coaches at the next level to be able to talk with them and kind of see what they’re looking, see how the trends of the NFL have changed.”
“As we share our message with our recruits, our players, we’re going to do everything we can to get you a chance to be at the next level, then it’s up to you after that.”
Q. You mentioned right off the top how you are a Southern California or California-based recruiting operation. With USC and UCLA leaving the conference, does that change anything in regard to your approach?
Coach Fisch: “I hope what it does when parents are making decisions on wanting to watch their children play, they don’t have to get on a plane and fly to Newark, fly to Iowa, fly to Ann Arbor. They get to get in a car, drive five and a half hours, and next thing you know they’re at Arizona. They can be able to watch their sons play right here on the West Coast, right in prime time television. We’re hopeful that that’s going to be a huge benefit for us moving forward.”
Q. How do you feel about the roster today compared to how you felt about it a year ago?
Coach Fisch: “We’re better. 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.”
“The players that we’ve been able to bring in, we brought in some good football players. What it looks like come Saturday, September 3rd, is very different than how I feel right now. We’ll have to see. We’ll have to see if our team can come together in this training camp and how well we can play as a team.”
“If we can do that, then I think we’ll be a better football team as well.”
.@CoachJeddFisch on the relationships he has with NFL coaches and how they have helped our program. #Pac12MediaDay#ItsPersonal | #RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/u10CsLz5uH
.@JayCowing_ at #Pac12MediaDay on the resources @CoachJeddFisch provides here at Arizona Football.#RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/gEgHWE25JU
Q. I just wanted to ask, you had the two transfers come in, Jayden de Laura and Jacob Cowing. Two very talented players that are just starting to learn how to play with each other. What was the spring practice like with those two guys?
Coach Fisch: “Better than the spring practice the year before, I can tell you that (smiling).”
“We were able to hit on a lot of passes. We were able to be explosive. We were able to make plays out there on the field. It was fun to watch ’em. It was fun to watch what they did. They connected pretty well together.”
“Then along with that we had T Mac, who was here this spring, and Dorian Singer. The receiving core, while young, two freshmen and a transfer, gives us some hope to be able to be a little more explosive and score a few more touchdowns in the red area.”
Q. You referenced Bill Belichick and Sean McVay speaking to your team. What did you and the team learn with those two coaching legends?
Coach Fisch: “Yeah, both of them are so unique and special in their own ways. I think our players learned the importance of competition in everything you do and the importance of communication in everything you do.”
“You listen to both those guys speak, and they could speak in their own way and say their own words, but their messaging is the same: it’s about how do you compete every day, how do you communicate every day, how much better in fundamentals can you get every day.”
“If you can follow those three things, that was the message from both of them. How they said it, what they said was different, but in the end our staff, myself, and our team all learned that from those guys.”
Q. What do you expect Stevie Rocker’s role to be this season?
Coach Fisch: “I’d expect him to do one of two things: be one of the best special teams players on our football team, I’ve challenged him to do that, and then to be able to find a role and get the ball as a running back.”
“You got one guy back there as a running back traditionally. We’ve got a pretty deep running back room. We just received a transfer from Florida State a few weeks ago who will be arriving on campus today. We’ve got Michael Wiley returning, Drake Anderson, Stevie Rocker, Jalen John, then Rayshon Luke and Jonah Coleman arriving. It’s going to be a great competition this summer. But every one of them should be committed to being great on special teams if they’re not carrying the ball.”
On set with @Pac12Network?? #ItsPersonal | #RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/7vgkMvNaDD
?????? @CoachJeddFisch#Pac12MediaDay | #RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/wZMH1QV7DK
Q. When do you expect to name a starting quarterback?
Coach Fisch: “Jayden will take all the reps with the ones.”
Q. When a quarterback has the continuity with the offensive coordinator, what does that do for maturation of a quarterback?
Coach Fisch: “Yeah, I think it’s without a doubt the key to success, is continuity. The biggest issue that so many programs that have failed have had a lack of continuity. They’ve had a lack of consistency, whether it be at head coach or coordinators, or at quarterback.”
“If you’re able to have consistency and continuity, you have a chance to be pretty successful.”
“What was exciting for the University of Arizona is that when you could bring in the Freshman Player of the Year, then you feel like you’ve got some continuity moving forward. I call the plays on offense, so I feel confident that the coordinator will be there. So, therefore, that relationship between he and I is critical to our success as we move forward.”
Q. In regards to the recruiting class that you brought in that’s so talented, how many of them have stepped up and become leaders before someone their age would normally become one? How much is that young talent rising to the challenge for you?
Coach Fisch: “I would say without a question that you become a leader in a lot of different ways. Sometimes it’s performance-based, sometimes it’s talk, sometimes it’s actions, sometimes it’s just kind of presence.”
“We wanted to bring in players that have won games. I think that was a huge part of it. So if you look at our recruiting class, you look at their high school records, they know how to win.”
“You’re respected in a locker room if you’re coming from a winning program. Those guys are going to have to immediately impact our program in a lot of ways, and their ability to be a winner, their ability to understand what it takes to be a winner, the process that it goes into becoming a winner, and showing that they’re willing to do that, will give them the best chance to become leaders quickly.”
“But we have some good veteran leadership of guys that have been in this program over the last few years who have embraced our program, and those young guys will need to learn from them as well.”
. @CoachJeddFisch on the main stage. ????#Pac12MediaDay | #RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/3Gu2sEeoee
Houston's Finest: @Cy_Cinco.#Pac12MediaDay #RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/DgXnSYBTcF
Preseason Pac-12 Media Poll
On Thursday, the Wildcats were selected to finish 11th in the Pac-12 following a vote by the media. The Wildcats received 86 points and were selected to finish above Colorado (58 points). Defending Pac-12 Champion Utah (384 points) was picked to finish first and Oregon (345 points), who faced Utah in the 2021 championship game, received two first-place votes and the second most overall points to edge out USC, despite the Trojans having more first-place votes (five).
This will be the first season that the Pac-12 Football Championship Game will be played between the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage. This change came about following the NCAA Division I Council decision in May to deregulate the rule that had limited an individual conference’s autonomy to determine their football championship game participants. It was based on a motion brought by the Pac-12 and unanimously supported by all FBS conferences.
The 2022 Pac-12 Football Championship Game, presented by 76, featuring the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage, will take place on Friday, Dec. 2 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV. The game will be telecast to a national audience on FOX.
The 2022 Pac-12 football season kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 1 with an in-state matchup between Northern Arizona and Arizona State at 7:00 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network. The first Conference showdown features USC at Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 4:30 p.m. PT on ABC. Click here for the complete Pac-12 Football schedule.
Arizona opens the 2022 season on Sept. 3 at San Diego State. The home opener falls on Sept. 10 against Mississippi State with kickoff at Arizona Stadium set for 8 p.m.
That’s a wrap from @pac12 Media Days 2022#ItsPersonal | #RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/ZcQzXw0BWI
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