Former Basha Bear, Nate Phillips could play right away for Arizona

Arizona Sports News online

It is getting close to the time of camp where coaches decide which freshman they will red shirt and which they will maintain on the eligible roster for the upcoming season.

Freshman quarterback out of Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Anu Solomon is expected to be eligible to play right away for the Arizona Wildcats just because he could have a chance to earn the chance to start if he out-plays the four other quarterbacks trying to earn that spot.

Another freshman that is receiving some high praise out of the Arizona Wildcats fall camp is former Basha Bear wide receiver, Nate Phillips, who has received a lot of reps with the Wildcats first and second team offense.

“Nate is a very conscientious guy,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said after practice on Tuesday. “Of the freshmen, he and Samajie Grant are getting a lot of reps with the ones and twos, so those guys are getting ready to play. We saw Nate on film and liked him. We saw him in our 7-on-7 camp and we liked him. He’s a very competitive guy and he’s going to have a good career here.”

Phillips had a remarkable career at Basha. As a senior last fall he tallied a total of 76 catches for 1,223 yards and 16 total touchdowns. He was also one of the biggest punt and kick returning threats in the state and could have some value on special teams for the Wildcats as well.

The Wildcats wide receiving core is talented but not the deepest position if you do not include the incoming freshman. It was especially the case after the team lost last year’s leading receiver Austin Hill for the season during spring practice. With Terrence Miller, Garic Wharton, David Richards and Trey Griffey being the main four non-freshman expected to make an impact next season, some new comers may be called upon.

Injuries happen and Rich Rod does love to run those five wide receiver spread packages. That would make for a player like Phillips to see the field right away and see some substantial playing time in that fifth or sixth receiver spot.

“We are probably going to sit down tomorrow (Wednesday) and look at the freshmen who could play and who will redshirt,” Rodriguez mentioned. “We don’t have to make the decision right now. I thought a bunch of them would help and it looks like a lot of them will.”

A born and bred Arizonan, Jared has had great passion for the hometown teams all his life. He now channel's that passion into covering the pro, college and high school teams around the state as a Multimedia Reporter for Sports360AZ.