Arizona Wildcats cornerback Trevin Wade knows what it's like to be on top. He was magnificent during his sophomore year, back in 2009, when he emerged as a defensive star and earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors. He also knows what it's like to fall from the top, as evidenced by his poor showing last season. Through a few weeks of training camp, it looks like Wade is ready to impress again and become a key component of the Wildcats' defense heading into the 2011 season.
Wade showcased his abilities in 2009, starting all 13 games and compiling 71 sacks and five interceptions along the way. He looked poised to take another step forward in 2010 and anchor the Wildcats' defense.
Wade, unfortunately, didn't live up to the hype last year. He performed well over the first few weeks, highlighted by an 85-yard touchdown return off an interception against Iowa in Week 3. From there, however, Wade dealt with a bruised thigh and his stats slipped off. He finished with 47 tackles (24 less than the year before) and recorded no more interceptions after his 85-yard dash against Iowa.
The senior has looked very sharp in training camp so far, most notably in Saturday's scrimmage when he intercepted quarterback Nick Foles twice. If he can perform at a high level this year, the Wildcats' defense could become very dynamic. Arizona ranked fourth in the Pac-10 last season in passing defense (behind Cal, Washington and Stanford), surrendering on average 209.2 yards through the air each game; that was with a mediocre Wade. If he can perform, the Wildcats' secondary- and the team as a whole- will become a lot more lethal.