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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Arizona
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  12/01/20 - Grant GunnellSo/2023, Arizona, 6-5, 228 (DS#11 QB) + More +

  Arizona quarterback Grant Gunnell's status for the Colorado game Saturday is still being evaluated, Wildcats coach Kevin Sumlin said. Gunnell injured his right (throwing) shoulder on the first play from scrimmage in Arizona's loss at UCLA last week. He did not return. "We'll see where he is," Sumlin said during his weekly news conference Monday. "If he can go, he can go. If not...I think it's too early to even talk about that." Sumlin declined to go into detail about Gunnell's injury. He landed on his right shoulder after releasing a pass. He was not wearing a sling while watching the remainder of the game from the sideline. "I'm not going to go specifically on where he is right now," Sumlin said. "He wants to play. But...we're going to do the best thing for him and his career." Freshman Will Plummer replaced Gunnell and likely would start against the Buffaloes at Arizona Stadium. - Arizona Star News

(DS#11 QB) So/2023 QB Grant GunnellArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  12/01/20 - Malik HausmanrJr/2022, Arizona, 6-0, 170 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Arizona's depth in the defensive secondary went from slim entering the 2020 season, to depleted. The latest hit to the Wildcats' defensive backs groups are Malik Hausman and McKenzie Barnes, after the cornerbacks opted to sit out the remainder of the season. Citing injury and dedication to academics, Hausman will miss Arizona's final three games of the season and spend the rest of the semester in his hometown of Las Vegas. Barnes' decision to opt out is unknown. Hausman and Barnes are the latest of a handful of defensive backs to leave the program this year. Just this week alone, Arizona has lost safety Christian Young, cornerback Bobby Wolfe, Hausman and Barnes, although a source told the Star Wolfe's decision is pending, after the Houston native posted on Instagram late Saturday night that he planned to opt out. - Arizona Star News

(DS#999 CB) rJr/2022 CB Malik HausmanArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  11/28/20 - Christian YoungJr/2022, Arizona, 6-1, 206 (DS#999 SS) + More +

  Arizona's defensive secondary depth continues to take hits in 2020, after junior safety Christian Young opted out of the season on Wednesday, due to an ankle injury. In his third year with the program, the 6-foot-2-inch, 206-pound Houston native played in Arizona's season-opening loss to USC, but didn't record any statistics. Sophomore safety Jaxen Turner started in his place during Arizona's first two contests against USC and Washington. Young became the third Wildcat to opt out of the season, but still remain on the roster, joining running back Bam Smith and defensive end JB Brown. Smith and Brown opted out before the season for COVID-19 concerns. Young was also the third UA defensive back to step away from the program on Wednesday. Freshmen cornerbacks Edric Whitley and Khary Crump are no longer with the Wildcats. Whitley tweeted his decision to enter the transfer portal, while Crump's withdrawal is unknown. - Arizona Star News

(DS#999 SS) Jr/2022 SS Christian YoungArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  11/28/20 - Edric WhitleyFr/2024, Arizona, 5-10, 144 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Arizona Wildcats freshmen cornerbacks Edric Whitley and Khary Crump Jr. have stepped away from the UA after just two games into the 2020 season. Whitley announced on Twitter that he will to enter the transfer portal, while Crump is no longer with the program for unspecified reasons. The 5-foot-11-inch, 144-pound Whitley, a Pflugerville, Texas native, was rated by national recruiting websites as a three-star recruit, and was a member of Arizona's '20 recruiting class. Whitley committed to the UA over UNLV, Miami, Ole Miss, Sam Houston State and Texas Southern. - Arizona Star News

(DS#999 CB) Fr/2024 CB Edric WhitleyArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  11/04/20 - Derick MourningFr/2024, Arizona, 6-3, 229 (DS#999 ILB) + More +

  Mourning's first college football season will be a baptism by fire, because he will be thrust into a playmaker role immediately, when it could've been a year to study veterans Colin Schooler and Tony Fields, but the uncertainty of the Pac-12 season steered Arizona's defensive leaders to the Big 12. Schooler and Fields were the bulk of Arizona's tackles over the last three years, combining for 600 in 37 games. Arizona already lacked depth at linebacker before the departure of Fields and Schooler, but now? It's gotten to the point where walk-ons are going to appear on the Wildcats' weekly depth chart.

Here's one note that bodes well for the 6-3, 229-pound Mourning: Schooler and Fields were leaders of an Arizona defense as freshmen in 2017 and started every game since their college debuts. In a perfect world for Arizona, Schooler and Fields would've mentored young inside linebackers like Mourning and Derrion Clark, but 2020 has relentlessly proven that circumstances can quickly change. Playing alongside team captain Anthony Pandy, Mourning will have no other choice but to become a tackling machine this season, if the Wildcats have plans to progress as a defense despite their personnel losses. - Arizona Star News


(DS#999 ILB) Fr/2024 ILB Derick MourningArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  11/04/20 - Jaden MitchellrFr/2024, Arizona, 5-09, 175 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Another sequence of bad luck for Jaden Mitchell. During his weekly press conference leading up to the Arizona Wildcats' season opener at Utah, UA head coach Kevin Sumlin said the redshirt freshman wide receiver will miss the year with a knee injury. Sumlin also added freshman running back Frank Brown will miss 2-3 weeks with an MCL injury. Both Mitchell and Brown posted photos on Instagram of them wearing crutches and knee braces over the weekend. "So many emotions and not a lot of words," Mitchell posted. "Just know this is gonna be a hell of a story." Mitchell's latest setback is on his right knee; He suffered a left-knee injury in his senior year at Las Vegas' Desert Pines High School in 2017, which delayed his start at the UA until Sumlin's first season in 2018. The 5-foot-9-inch, 175-pound Mitchell also tested positive for COVID-19 during the summer and said he lost 14 pounds during his four-week quarantine. - Arizona Star News

(DS#999 WR) rFr/2024 WR Jaden MitchellArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  11/02/20 - Grant GunnellSo/2023, Arizona, 6-5, 228 (DS#11 QB) + More +

  Pressure? Grant Gunnell welcomes it. Not necessarily the in-your-face pressure from a blitzing linebacker. No quarterback likes that, including Arizona's. We're talking about the pressure that comes with leading an offense and becoming the face of a program. It can be daunting, especially when that program has lost seven games in a row, has an embattled head coach and lacks depth and experience at key positions on defense. Gunnell wouldn't have it any other way. "There's always pressure when you're playing football," the sophomore said. "That's not a bad thing to me. I see and feel pressure as something that drives me. If you're not feeling pressure, those butterflies in your stomach, you don't love football. You can ask anyone." Arizona is asking a lot of Gunnell. Although he has only three career starts, he is the undisputed starting quarterback for 2020 and beyond. He was tasked with keeping the team together when they couldn't physically be together in the spring and summer. He represented the Wildcats during the virtual version of Pac-12 Media Days.

Only two of the 12 players were sophomores: Gunnell and Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels. UA players recently voted for team captains. Gunnell was the only sophomore to make the cut. The other four were fourth- or fifth-year veterans. "He's a natural-born leader," Wildcats cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace said. Although there's still work to be done - Gunnell showed great promise as a freshman, but it's a small sample size and he still has much to prove - the record-setting quarterback from Houston has toiled to reach this point. He's the starting QB for a Power Five program, piloting an offense built around him. "Grant has unbelievable passion for this game, and he wants to be really good at it," said offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Noel Mazzone, who recruited Gunnell to Texas A&M before both made their way to Tucson. "This is something that he's worked (for) basically his whole young life up to this point, to play major college football. It's just very, very important to him." - Arizona Star News


(DS#11 QB) So/2023 QB Grant GunnellArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  From the moment he stepped foot on Arizona's campus, Roland-Wallace was college-ready. His 5-foot-11-inch, 198-pound frame was imposing even as an 18-year-old freshman. Now 202 pounds and with an entire season of experience under his belt, the Palmdale, California, native could be one of Arizona's top defenders in 2020. Roland-Wallace is one of three Arizona scholarship defensive backs to weigh more than 200 pounds, joining Christian Young (206) and McKenzie Barnes (203). In 12 games last season, including eight starts at cornerback, Roland-Wallace recorded 37 tackles, six pass breakups and one interception. He started the final six games of the season at cornerback.

Arizona's defensive coaching purge actually may actually help Roland-Wallace. New defensive backs coach Greg Burns, who came to Tucson when Demetrice Martin left for Colorado, recruited Roland-Wallace when he was the DBs coach at Oregon State. The OSU offer was Roland-Wallace's first from the Pac-12. Then Burns jumped over to USC's staff and wanted Roland-Wallace to play for the Trojans, but he was already committed to the UA. Burns said he's "happy to get my hands on" Roland-Wallace. Maybe a relationship that goes back to Roland-Wallace's sophomore year of high school will mold him into a key player for Arizona. Plus, the athletic Roland-Wallace has worked with the special teams unit as a kick and punt returner; he'll see the field quite a bit this year. - Arizona Star News


(DS#69 CB) So/2023 CB Christian Roland-WallaceArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  11/02/20 - Jamarye JoinerrSo/2023, Arizona, 6-1, 214 (DS#71 WR) + More +

  Joiner played the majority of the 2019 season with a foot injury that was later diagnosed as a Jones fracture, a break at the base of the fifth metatarsal. The former quarterback tabbed a team-high 552 receiving yards on 34 receptions and hauled in five touchdowns. His best performance was a 140-yard, two-touchdown performance against ASU. UA outside receivers coach Taylor Mazzone said Joiner's efforts in the Territorial Cup game was "a great game for him to build off. Now we know what he can do. … Game-planning-wise, he's put it on tape for us." First impressions of Arizona's training camp indicate Joiner will be one of the Wildcats' leading receivers in 2020. With a pass-first quarterback in Gunnell driving the offense, Joiner could be in for a special season - even if it's only seven games. - Arizona Star News

(DS#71 WR) rSo/2023 WR Jamarye JoinerArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  10/23/20 - Jamarye JoinerrSo/2023, Arizona, 6-1, 214 (DS#71 WR) + More +

  Joiner displayed breakout potential last season despite being less than 100% healthy. He capped the campaign with a career game against Arizona State - seven catches, 140 yards, two touchdowns - despite the foot issue and a sore hamstring. "What a great game for him to build off," outside receiver coach Taylor Mazzone said. "Now we know what he can do. … Game-planning-wise, he's put it on tape for us." Joiner called it the game that "set me up for this year" and the performance that allowed him to "showcase my talent, showcase what I can do, the role I play for the University of Arizona. It's just being a ballplayer and playing for my team." The offseason brought challenges for everyone.

Since he couldn't run for much of it, Joiner had to find ways to work on his game. He delved into film study, paying particularly close attention to receivers with physical attributes similar to his. "I tell young athletes all the time: You don't have to be the most athletic, but you have to be the smartest," Joiner said. "I try to get everything down. I watch Deebo Samuel all the time, Julio Jones all the time, to try to really look at what they do in their routes, see how they get open and how they break down, where their hips are, their arms are, their eyes are." Most important for Joiner: where his foot is. Less than three weeks from the opener, he reported no lingering concerns. "I'm ready to go," Joiner said. "I put myself in the best position during the offseason to get my body 100%." - Arizona Republic


(DS#71 WR) rSo/2023 WR Jamarye JoinerArizona
News Source: Arizona Republic
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  10/12/20 - Grant GunnellSo/2023, Arizona, 6-5, 228 (DS#11 QB) + More +

  Teammates and coaches have noticed a change in the second-year passer, who played well in a part-time role as a freshman last year. Gunnell shared time with senior Khalil Tate. Gunnell led the offense at times but was never truly in a position to lead the team. He is now. "It's hard to be a vocal leader when you're a freshman," veteran center Josh McCauley said. "That's something he'll … continue to pick up as we progress and as we grow as a team." While the Wildcats were forced to be apart because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gunnell made a concerted effort to check up on his teammates - on both sides of the ball. He'd regularly send out text messages with a goal of "staying on top of guys, making sure everyone's OK, off the field, on the field," Gunnell said. "Making sure everyone's getting their work in in the weight room, not slacking."

Gunnell spoke out through social media and other channels when the Pac-12 football season was in limbo. He participated in the player-driven #WeWantToPlay movement in August. In September, Gunnell wrote and published a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom asking him to help clear a path for the four Pac-12 schools in that state to begin practice. "I had no idea he did any of that stuff; he just did it," said Noel Mazzone, Arizona's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. "He's a very unselfish person. I think that just shows that what was important was not just, 'Hey I want to play football this year.' What it shows is his love for the game and his overall concern for all of college football, how important it is to our communities. "I think he sees that, and I think that was a pretty mature thing for him to do." - Arizona Star News


(DS#11 QB) So/2023 QB Grant GunnellArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  10/11/20 - JB BrownSr/2021, Arizona, 6-3, 267 (DS#64 DE) + More +

  The Arizona Wildcats will be without two projected rotation players for the 2020 season, and a third is away from the team indefinitely. Tailback Bam Smith and defensive end JB Brown have opted out because of COVID-19 concerns, UA coach Kevin Sumlin announced after the first practice of fall camp Friday night. Meanwhile, receiver Jalen Johnson has been suspended for a violation of team rules. Smith, a redshirt sophomore, rushed for 203 yards and a touchdown last season, averaging 6.0 yards per attempt. He also caught 12 passes for 181 yards and two scores. JB Brown was entering his senior season. He appeared to be on the verge of a breakout after recording 7.5 tackles for losses, including 3.5 sacks, as a sophomore. He wasn't as impactful as a junior (five TFLs, three sacks), and it was unclear where the 6-3, 267-pounder would fit in new defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads' 3-4 scheme. - Arizona Star News

(DS#64 DE) Sr/2021 DE JB BrownArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  10/02/20 - Donovan LaieJr/2022, Arizona, 6-3, 325 (DS#22 OG) + More +

  Junior offensive lineman Donovan Laie has changed his mind and will play for Arizona in 2020. One day after announcing his intent to transfer, the Wildcats' best blocker did a 180. "After much prayer with my family and talks about my future, I have decided that I will be taking my name out of the transfer portal and resuming my career at the University of Arizona," Laie tweeted Wednesday afternoon. The development is a significant one for Arizona, which needs its offense to perform at a high level to offset a depleted defense. Laie (6-5, 325) likely will play left guard this year after playing both tackle spots in his first two seasons. He played there briefly late last season when the coaching staff gave then-freshman Jordan Morgan a look at left tackle. Laie's father died last year, and family considerations have weighed heavily on the native of Oceanside, California. - Arizona Star News

(DS#22 OG) Jr/2022 OG Donovan LaieArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  10/02/20 - Kevin DoylerSo/2023, Arizona, 6-3, 211 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  Reserve quarterback Kevin Doyle, who had opted out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns, has opted back in and will be part of the Arizona Wildcats' roster after all. Doyle, a redshirt sophomore, announced Aug. 1 that he was opting out. He cited concerns for his health and safety stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. All Pac-12 student-athletes have that option this year. Ten days later, the Pac-12 announced it was postponing the season until January at the earliest, essentially rendering Doyle's decision moot. But the league reversed course earlier this month and plans to kick off Nov. 6. The UA is expected to open training camp late next week. This season - which is only seven games long for Pac-12 teams - will not count toward players' eligibility clocks. So if Doyle were to pursue a transfer in 2021 - a common tactic for quarterbacks seeking an opportunity to play - he'd still have three years of eligibility. - Arizona Star News

(DS#999 QB) rSo/2023 QB Kevin DoyleArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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  09/30/20 - Donovan LaieJr/2022, Arizona, 6-3, 325 (DS#22 OG) + More +

  Another veteran starter has elected to transfer out of the Arizona football program. Junior offensive lineman Donovan Laie, who has started 24 straight games for the Wildcats, announced Tuesday that he is entering the NCAA transfer portal. Laie (6-5, 325) has played left tackle, right tackle and left guard and is considered a possible NFL prospect. He is the fifth projected starter to leave the UA program this offseason, joining safety Scottie Young Jr., linebackers Tony Fields II and Colin Schooler, and receiver Brenden Schooler. When asked Friday about the players who have transferred, UA coach Kevin Sumlin said that "every situation is different." Laie hadn't informed the program he was entering the portal at that time. It's unclear why Laie decided to leave, but the recent death of his father could be a factor. Laie's father, Chris, died last November. Laie is one of seven siblings. The family lives in Oceanside, California. - Arizona Star News

(DS#22 OG) Jr/2022 OG Donovan LaieArizona
News Source: Arizona Star News
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