The two offseasons of the Jedd Fisch era in Tuscon have been defined by quarterback competitions.
Heading into last season, the Wildcats added Gunner Cruz and Jordan McCloud in the transfer portal and Will Plummer was already on the roster. Whether it was due to injury or struggles on the field, all three players got their shot to be the guy under center. Plummer led the team with six touchdowns last year, and Cruz, McCloud and Jamarye Joiner – who is listed as a wide receiver – were all tied for second with two touchdowns each.
All three quarterbacks are back in Tucson, and the Wildcats brought in two additional playmakers: Washington State transfer Jayden de Laura – the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year – and three-star quarterback Noah Fifita, who Fisch has already called a “gamer.”
de Laura has already logged a lot of Pac-12 competition with the Cougars, passing for 3,684 yards and 28 touchdowns over two seasons. Fifita played at Servite High School in Anaheim and played his prep ball with fellow Wildcats Keyan Burnett and Tetairoa McMillan, forming a cornerstone of Arizona’s recruiting class.
Another difference from last year’s competition is the coaching staff wants to have a starter named and move forward quickly so that quarterback can get the majority of first team reps. Fisch said last year’s prolonged competition could have handcuffed the quarterbacks because they were all splitting first team reps.
Whether it’s a new face or a returner, the starter in September will earn it in April.