Bye week blues: How football Wildcats will spend days off
With Arizona’s first of two bye weeks on deck, head coach Rich Rodriguez has rewarded his players with no practice today or Saturday.
The rest days come at a time when many of the players are spent. Four weeks into the season and six weeks since the start of fall camp, that’s expected for many college athletes, especially freshmen.
But since the Wildcats don’t practice this weekend, their schedules have opened up dramatically, giving them so much free time many of them don’t know what to do with it.
While most college students would risk this privilege and go out and party, it appears the Wildcats can’t get away from the sport they love.
Ryan Revock/ The Daily Wildcat UA cornerback Shane Wilson plays video games in the players lounge on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 in the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility.
“Friday, I’ll probably head over to CDO [Canyon del Oro] and try to catch the game,” said Jared Tevis, a Tucson native and Canyon del Oro High School graduate. “Me and Ka’Deem [Carey] go watch them play every now and then when we have time.”
Tevis and Carey aren’t the only ones who might see a high school football game this weekend. Rodriguez’ son, Rhett, is a freshman at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson and is the starting varsity quarterback. Rodriguez has yet to miss a game, and he said he doesn’t plan on starting this week.
The other coaches also have high school football on their mind. It might be an off-day from practice, but recruiting never takes a break. Some of the coaches will be traveling this weekend to go watch and talk to possible recruits.
As for the players, they also plan to use the off days to get better on the field.
“Saturday, I’ll probably watch some film and see how I can improve my game,” freshman cornerback Devin Holiday said. “There’s a lot to take advantage of on a day off.”
The San Diego native started his Arizona football career with a bang with an interception in the Wildcats’ first game against NAU. Holiday’s presence has been quieter in the two games since the season opener, though.
Besides watching film, some of the players also said they were planning on watching a lot of college football on Saturday. There aren’t too many big games this week, but taking the chance to watch their next opponent, Washington, is high on their list of things to do.
Many players also had plans of just relaxing, using the days off to rest their weary legs and exhausted muscles.
And of course, there’s always time for studying. The grind of college homework is finally starting to hit some of the freshmen.
“I’ll definitely be spending a lot of time in my dorm resting and catching up on my sleep,” Holiday said. “And I should probably study. I got a lot of stuff due this week.”
In the week of practice leading up to the bye week, Rodriguez gave a lot of bench players extra reps.
After the two-day break, Arizona will resume its normal practice schedule and get focused on the Huskies.
—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella