Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
March 5, 2013
Spring 2013 has a familiar vibe to 2009 when analyzing a pair of former Arizona quarterbacks. Both Matt Scott and Nick Foles face uncertain football futures now, as they did then.
The role of either come Week 1 is shrouded in mystery, though their collegiate pasts might clear some of the unknown.
Four years ago, then members of the Wildcats' roster, Foles and Scott were the frontrunners to replace record-setting passer Willie Tuitama. Scott was UA's chosen quarterback, a recruit of then-head coach Mike Stoops and heir apparent.
Foles was something of a journeyman: a one-time Arizona State commit who landed at Michigan State but transferred after sliding behind Kirk Cousins on the Spartans' depth chart.
Scott inched ahead in spring practices and secured the job in time for Week 1, but a shaky performance at Iowa opened the door for Foles' historic three years captaining the offense.
Foles' ascension to starter quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles this past NFL season failed to match the immediate impact he made taking over at UA. He threw for 1,699 yards and six touchdowns, though was intercepted five times - playing behind one of the most porous offensive lines in football will have that effect on a quarterback.
Overall, his season was not bad for a rookie quarterback playing behind a line that ranked No. 28 in sacks allowed. But among one of the deepest quarterback classes in history, his performance is easy to dismiss.
And dismissed it's been. The hire of former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has sent rumor mongers into a frenzy. Foles' name was speculated in correlation with the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, though each dissipated as suddenly as it started.
Kelly stressed his desire to coach Foles at the combine, echoing the sentiment he expressed to reporters after the UO-UA game in 2011. Then, Kelly called Foles "a hell of a football player."
Kelly's signing of former Duck Dennis Dixon might have generated the Foles trade rumors, but the coach's own words suggest the new career passing leader in Wildcats history might have a place in Philadelphia.
And Foles has already shown all he needs is a place on the roster and an opportunity.
Scott's collegiate career trajectory proves what virtue patience can be.
When speaking to Scott at the Pac-12 Conference's media day last summer, he told me that his redshirt season in 2011 better prepared him to function as a leader.
It manifested into one of the most effective seasons from a Wildcat on the offensive end in program history and a second team All-Pac-12 selection.
Scott is gaining ground among his NFL draft peers. His performance at last week's scouting combine turned heads, though probably should not be of much surprise to those who watched him in 2010 and 2012. His blistering 40-yard dash time and position-best effort in the shuttle run fuel comparisons to Colin Kaepernick.
The success of capable dual-threat quarterbacks like Kaepernick and Russell Wilson will earn Scott looks. His abilities will make those general managers look a little bit longer.
GOAZCATS.com Staff Writer
Follow Kyle on Twitter