Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez probably has a pretty good idea of a loose pecking order this spring for his seven competing quarterbacks, a number that will jump to nine in the fall, but it appears increasingly unlikely he will provide reporters too many clues to his thinking, even after the spring game on April 12.
That order might be how the Pac-12 blog is handicapping the competition. Or it might not. Why does Rodriguez get to be the only mysterious guy on the question?
"I would say one through five is pretty bunched up right now," Rodriguez told reporters after Monday's practice. "I have tried to rotate them through there like that. I thought by now there would be a little more separation, but there really hasn’t been."
Rodriguez was happy how his QBs played in a closed scrimmage on Saturday, and he seems satisfied with how the group is performing. You might recall that last spring, in the competition that B.J. Denker would eventually win, Rodriguez looked like he was sucking on lemons when asked to talk about his QBs.
So perhaps we can assume things are better than last year and at least on schedule.
"They’re a very conscientious group," Rodriguez said. "When I ask them questions, they give the right answers. It’s five practices and I’m going to continue putting them under the gun. I’m repping seven now and have nine scheduled for the fall. I can’t rep nine equally in the fall. I’ll pare it down as much as I can. If I don’t know the top three or four, I’ll keep repping them until I have that order.”
Meanwhile, the competition to replace running back Ka'Deem Carey seems to be meandering a bit. Pierre Cormier, Zach Green and Terris Jones-Grigsby have been participating in spring practices, but Rodriguez isn't throwing out any bouquets just yet.
“They’re OK," Rodriguez said. "They’re getting a lot of reps. From Daniel Jenkins and Ka’Deem Carey, two of the best guys that we had and veterans, they’re not going to be at that level yet. There’s some talent there. Coach [Calvin] Magee is pushing them through to get them to play at a higher level, so I think they’ve gotten better.”
Rodriguez isn't so shy, however, about expressing frustration with the NCAA, which has yet to clear early-enrolling true freshman running back Jonathan Haden to practice.
"It’s really frustrating because the information is in and has been into the NCAA for a week and a half now," Rodriguez said.