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August 1, 2013

Arizona football: All-quotable team

Another fall camp will soon be upon us. For the media, it also means interviewing several Arizona coaches and players between now and the Aug. 30 season opener.

Surfing YouTube led to stumbling across this Arizona Athletics video in which Mickey Baucus and the rest of the football team complete a media training course, along with other student-athletes.

That got me to thinking: Who on the current football team provides the best quotes? Well, here's an unofficial all-quotable team, complete with video (a lot):

Rich Rodriguez: You can't really start with anybody else, c'mon now. Heck, a list of just his lines would be enough to fill a stand-up comedy set.

Right off the bat at his introductory press conference in November 2011, Rodriguez charmed Tucson with the line: "Why not Arizona? Why not us?" He has been an all-star quote machine ever since, spitting out RichRod-isms such as "comfortable with being uncomfortable" and "keeping the main thing, the main thing."

Prior to his first spring practice at Arizona, Rodriguez joked that any lost players should just "run in place." There was also the time the second-year head coach showed off his PlayStation video game controller knowledge, dubbing now-departed running back J.T. Washington the "O-button."

But one of Rodriguez's better moments had to be after the third practice of last year's fall camp. Anytime you can effectively quote Rafiki from the Disney classic "The Lion King," it's worthy of such a list (jump to the 2:15 mark).

Just don't ask him about last year's Territorial Cup.

Bill Kirelawich: You know somebody is a great quote when you don't have any video evidence due to a ton of colorful language.

While it probably is not his favorite thing in the world to do, Kirelawich gives the media in-your-face intensity and the whole truth when requested. The defensive line coach will let you know exactly what he thinks about his players - both good and bad - without much hesitation.

For that reason, many of his players like to label him as "old-school."

"The only thing that makes you old-school is being old," Kirelawich told GOAZCATS.com in April 2012. "I'm old, but I'm not old-school."

Oh, but if you could only listen to him unplugged...

Ka'Deem Carey: It's almost bittersweet putting the consensus All-American on this list, knowing he was off-limits to the media throughout spring camp while he dealt with his off-the-field issues. There has been no indication as to when Carey will be made available again, either.

But he sure did provide plenty of quality sound bites last season, as evidenced by his postgame comments after demolishing the Colorado defense for a school- and Pac-12 Conference-record 366 rushing yards (see embedded video above).

But he may have been at his best and most relaxed while preparing for the New Mexico Bowl. In one clip, Carey recalled the time teammate Jared Tevis was the "king of the little high school" at Canyon del Oro, and later talked about turning "into a creature" when he steps on the field, among other animated highlights. The running back said it's as if he turns into The Hulk, providing a roar to go with it.

Jake Fischer: There is a reason the linebacker has represented the Wildcats at Pac-12 Media Day the past two years and has become the defense's default spokesman. Ask him anything and you'll likely receive a solid, lengthy answer.

But Fischer also is not afraid to tell it like it is, or sit down in front of ESPN cameras and defend the decision to attach his name to the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA.

Even after a 56-point beatdown on the road at UCLA, Fischer can face the questions.

Garic Wharton: The junior receiver may not jump out immediately. When most people think about players the media likes talking to, the stars of the team come to mind first.

But there are few on the Wildcats with the ability to deadpan an answer like Wharton. After the fourth practice of fall camp last season, he was asked about how the tempo and amount of running affects even the speediest of players like himself.

"I'm tired I'm tired and I'm also tired," Wharton told GOAZCATS.com that night (jump to the 2-minute mark).

Some of his other gems include the time he likened RichRod's arrival to the Red Sea parting, nicknamed receivers coach Tony Dews "The Pastor" and remained insightful with his methodical pace of answers - all in the same day.

Honorable mention: quarterbacks coach Rod Smith; quarterback B.J. Denker (see embedded video above); tight ends/special teams coach Charlie Ragle; and nose tackle Tevin Hood.

With camp opening Saturday night, here's to collecting a few more quotable moments during the 2013 season.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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