Arizona Spring Game notes: Hill out with ACL tear, Scroggins sees first action
Austin Hill injured
Junior wide receiver Austin Hill didn’t participate in Saturday’s Spring Practice game due to a torn ACL he suffered during Wednesday’s practice. Hill will have surgery to repair it in the near future and no timetable has been set for his return.
Hill was the Wildcats’ leading receiver in 2012 with 11 touchdowns on 1,364 yards. Head coach Rich Rodriguez announced the bad news following the spring game and seemed unsure of what to expect but was trying to stay optimistic.
“[Hill] is a big part of our offense, but that’s what football is,” quarterback B.J. Denker said. “But I know he’ll bounce back and be better than ever.”
The 2013 quarterback battle appears to be a three-man competition between Denker, junior transfer Jesse Scroggins and in-coming, highly recruited freshman Anu Solomon.
With Solomon not yet enrolled at the UA, Saturday’s spring game featured Scroggins and Denker.
Scroggins, who missed all 15 spring practices with a foot injury, wasn’t told he would play until a few plays into the scrimmage.
His first pass was intercepted by safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant. But, Scroggins would settle down and looked composed from the pocket as he drove the offense down against an injury depleted Arizona defense.
“For my first day of any real playing I felt I did pretty good,” Scroggins said after the scrimmage. “I’m a pocket passer, I’m getting used to the offense but other than that I love it here.”
Denker also had a strong spring game as he targeted wide receivers Johnny Jackson and Terrence Miller on many occasions. Denker’s most impressive play of the day was a 98-yard touchdown pass to junior Tyler Slavin.
“I got a lot of work with the ones and I feel confident,” Denker said. “I’m the smartest guy on the field. No one knows the offense like me.”
Terrence Miller granted medical hardship
Rodriguez did receive some good news this week as it was announced following the spring game that senior receiver Terrence Miller was granted a redshirt to return for a fifth season in the fall.
Miller missed nine games in 2012 because of a severe ankle sprain. In the four games he played, Miller had 13 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He is expected to be a big part of the offense this upcoming season.
“It feels really good to play the waiting game anymore,” Miller said. “Now I can focus on football, school and coming back for another year. I’m excited.”