Scroggins playing catchup in quarterback competiton

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona’s pecking order at quarterback has continued to become clearer and clearer each week. Senior B.J. Denker is No. 1. Redshirt freshman Javelle Allen is No. 2.

And junior college transfer and former USC recruit Jesse Scroggins is No. 3. Scroggins didn’t help himself last weekend by being suspended for the victory over UTSA.

“It was a coach’s decision,” said Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, not going into detail about the suspension. “But he’s working hard trying to get back in it. He’s got to do all the right things. He understands and is very conscientious.”

Arizona, 3-0, has a bye this week before facing Washington in Seattle next week.

Through three games, Denker has played more than 90 percent of the offensive plays and Allen has played the rest.

This was supposed to have been a quarterback battle from the beginning of camp in early August. Rodriguez said it was close throughout, eventually deciding on Denker — at least publicly — the day of UA’s home opener three weeks ago.

Rodriguez said the talk of a quarterback competition wasn’t just that, talk, to get Denker fired up.

“Oh, no, we weren’t sure,” Rodriguez said. “I wasn’t trying to fire under B.J. (But) he responded well. As did Javelle. But I think all the guys got better. B.J. and Javelle took the biggest steps of all.”

Scroggins transferred in from El Camino Junior College after spending his first year at Southern California. He was considered one of the top high school quarterbacks (Lockwood High in Los Angeles) on the West Coast in his recruiting class of 2010. He sat out as a redshirt at USC.

Scroggins missed spring drills at Arizona with a foot injury and then missed some of the early fall practices with concussion problems, and it put him behind, Rodriguez said.

“And when you get behind, the train doesn’t slow down,” he said. “We’re going to keep going.”