Competition intense for Arizona QB candidates

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker said he needs to convince the Wildcats coaching staff he’s the guy they need to believe in and the guy they can trust to lead the offense.

Jesse Scroggins, Denker’s presumed major competition, wants to stay healthy and do what he does best – play quarterback.

Let the competition begin — not from just the two, but from everybody.

“Any competition is intense,” said Denker, a senior and the most veteran of Arizona’s six quarterbacks vying for the starting job. “You just can’t just say, ‘it’s not that big of a deal.’ I have one more year. Jesse has two. Nick Isham has (three). It’s intense every single day.”

Denker, Scroggins and Isham addressed the media Tuesday night after being off-limits for the first three days of camp.

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said that by the end of next week he hopes to thin out the competition, with perhaps three quarterbacks getting the most repetitions.

The intrigue is such that Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller began a press conference on Tuesday by saying, “I’m not sure who the quarterback is going to be.”

That prompted a joking response from Rodriguez, who said he thought Miller would be a very good football coach and wished he could hire him, but he can’t afford him.

Joking aside, Rodriguez has time to make a decision.

Scroggins, a junior college transfer who began his career at Southern California, offers an athletic, strong-armed passer. He missed the first two days of practice while recovering from a concussion and missed most of spring drills with a foot injury. Denker has some veteran savvy after filling in for Matt Scott a season ago.

“I have to stay healthy and, honestly I don’t know what I need to do to win the job, but I’m going to do what I do – compete,” Scroggins said. “I’ll take the right steps on the road to glory. We all want the same thing (to win).”

Denker said he’s more than aware that he didn’t have a couple of good practices to begin the fall camp, but he did Tuesday.

“I didn’t come out like I wanted to,” Denker said. “We worked all summer, and to perform the way I did the first two days was disappointing on my part. … I’m a big competitor and I don’t like to let the coaches down. I’ve been working real hard. (Tuesday) I came out real confident and did some better things (than) I’ve done the first two days.”

Scroggins  said he feels fine and is ready for whatever anyone throws at him. It’s all about learning and competing.

“There would be no good team without a quarterback,” Scroggins said. “The quarterback is the most essential spot in any sport.”