ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Arizona football names 2021 captains ahead of season opener vs. BYU

Aug 31, 2021, 12:03 PM

Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch announced that the Wildcats will have six captains in 2021 ahead of Saturday’s season opener against BYU.

The offensive, defensive and special teams units each have two captains.

Redshirt senior offensive lineman Josh McCauley and redshirt junior wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III are the offensive captains. Senior linebacker Anthony Pandy and redshirt junior defensive lineman Jalen Harris were named captains on defense. Two seniors, Thomas Reid III and kicker Lucas Havrisik, will serve as captains for special teams.

Fisch said each player had one vote for each unit.

In addition, Berryhill and Harris both earned the No. 1 jersey for offense and defense, respectively.

Fisch said both players had to embody the dedication and abilities required to be a complete leader in order to earn the coveted jersey number.

“They had to go hard in every play, every day,” Fisch said. “They can’t be late to any meetings. They have to do well academically. They had to lead the team when the team was tired. They really are everything that a Wildcat should be.”

He also said that if one of the players did not want the No. 1 jersey, there would have been only one recipient of that jersey number.

Fisch keeping options open with quarterback battle

Fisch previously announced that redshirt freshman Gunner Cruz and second-year returner Will Plummer will both get reps at quarterback in Saturday’s opening game of the season. He said that both quarterbacks are using the planned two-quarterback system to improve their own games.

“Right now, they’ve embraced it,” Fisch said. “They’re working hard at getting better.”

He did not say how much time each quarterback could get. That could be determined as the game goes on, particularly if one quarterback has early success leading the offense.

“I’m not bound to put another person in,” Fisch said.

Fisch respects BYU’s abilities

Looking ahead to Saturday’s matchup against BYU, Fisch rates the Cougars highly and said the Wildcats have a tough task ahead of them.

“They’re always going to play good, sound fundamental football,” Fisch said. “They’re always going to be hard to block and hard to tackle. They’ve got some ability to be super explosive. We know we have our work cut out for us with that team.”

The Cougars received votes in the preseason AP Poll. BYU went 11-1 last season, with its only loss coming against Coastal Carolina. However, the Cougars will experience a change in quarterback without Zach Wilson, who was selected second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Sophomore Jaren Hall will start at quarterback for the Cougars. He started two games in 2019 for the Cougars.

Arizona still keeping pandemic awareness

– Fisch said the program is “very COVID-aware.” Despite a 100% vaccination rate, he is still making sure the players are making good social decisions to avoid any breakthrough cases.

“It’s really important for us to make smart decisions so we don’t run into a problem where we lose guys because of a Friday night or Saturday night out,” Fisch said.

The team will primarily be with each other and away from others, particularly on the road.

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