July 14, 2006

Voluntary Workout Recap: Defense

GOAZCATS.com was on hand to watch a voluntary workout by the Arizona football players and came away extremely impressed. Yesterday a story was written on the offense with an emphasis on the freshmen, but the defense was just as impressive.

When talking about Arizona's defense it has become imperative to start out at the secondary. The group is extremely talented and this season the position is going to be very deep.

The three freshmen Devin Ross, Michael Turner and Cameron Nelson all looked great in the workouts. Ross did very well in coverage, which was one of the reasons the ball was never thrown his way.

Turner looks to have added a lot of size and is very quick. Both guys will get heavy looks this season and are future stars for the Arizona program.

However, one guy we came away extremely impressed with was freshman Cameron Nelson. The incoming freshman has excellent height at the position and is extremely athletic.

He is very versatile and looked to have the ability to line up anywhere in the secondary. There were a few times in the day when a great pass was batted down or broken up only to see that it was Nelson making the play.

Another young guy who looked very good in the workout was redshirt freshman Corey Hall. A redshirt freshman, Hall was known as a hitter in high school and he was in position for some big hits on Wednesday had contact been allowed.

Perhaps the best news from the workout was Michael Johnson stepping up as a leader and teacher to all the young members of the secondary. Similar to Darrell Brooks last season, if anything did not go right Johnson would stop the play and correct the other guys helping them out.

Arizona will be looking for a leader to emerge on the defense and Johnson is already displaying his senior leadership.

The linebacking corps looks as big as ever with Dane Krogstad and Spencer Larsen leading the way in the workout. Adrian McCovy and Xavier Kelley were also out on the field and both look ready to play.

McCovy is every bit as big as is talked about and looks like a completely different player than the incoming freshman we watched a year ago. Kelley looks slightly bigger than last time we saw him and will be counted on as the fastest linebacker on the team.

Arizona has a ton of depth this year and if the unit remains healthy it could surprise people as the best on the team.

Incoming freshman Ricky Elmore was out there and like the other freshmen has college size right now. He lined up at linebacker on a few plays and displayed great speed and nose for the ball. He will be one to keep an eye on.

Another freshman out on the field was defensive tackle Lolomana Mikaele. The true frosh has already added a ton of size since his senior year in high school and if he keeps his speed then Arizona has the makings of a great defensive tackle.

He is another example of the success the young guys are having in Arizona's strength and conditioning program.

* Keep checking the front page and V.I.P. Football Forum for more information from the voluntary workouts as well as the latest news on UA Football.

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