TUCSON, Ariz. — This doesn’t come as a shocker, but Arizona senior cornerback Richard Morrison is getting some looks at wide receiver. Morrison said earlier this week that he could see time at the position at some point this season, in part because he’s played there before, but wants to find a spot where he can start and play regularly.
Now comes word that he practiced at receiver Thursday morning.
“He wanted to do that,” coach Rich Rodriguez said. “Honestly, I think he has a better chance of starting at wideout than corner. But it’s not like he’s going to come over and be handed a job. He’s got to work for it and earn it.”
Morrison started the 2012 season opener at the slot receiver spot and played nine games. He finished with 23 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns. He requested a switch back to defense in the spring of this year after losing playing time last season.
“Basically, since I got here when I was a quarterback, I had always wanted to play cornerback if I didn’t play quarterback,” Morrison said, explaining to reporters why he asked for the switch in the spring. “I got switched to wide receiver and I was good at it, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
But with so little depth at receiver this year, Morrison apparently is looking at the situation from a playing-time perspective. Arizona is likely to be without junior standout Austin Hill (ACL) all season, and Tyler Slavin and Jarrell Bennett left the team. David Richards is out with an injury but is expected back soon.
Come Friday, Arizona will be just two weeks away from its season opener at home against Northern Arizona. For at least one coach, that doesn’t seem like enough time given that so many positions are still up in the air.
“Too close for us,” Rodriguez said. “Not having a preseason game or exhibition game against anyone else to judge where you’re at is kind of difficult. Games mean so much, and this is the only level that doesn’t have a scrimmage or practice against anyone else.”
Rodriguez has in the past stated his desire for some sort of preseason scrimmage or exhibition game.
AN EASED PRACTICE
Instead of a regularly scheduled practice Thursday evening, Rodriguez will have the team go through a walk-through and team meetings. UA is coming on nearly two weeks of practice, so Rodriguez felt it was time to give the players a break.
Beau Boyster, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman, tweeted Wednesday night that he was having surgery Thursday. He wasn’t specific as to the injury, and Rodriguez didn’t provide any details, so it’s not clear how much of the season, if any, Boyster will miss. There was a chance he’d see some playing time as a reserve on the line.