The Arizona Wildcats and new head coach Rich Rodriguez know their presence in the Phoenix area will need to be strong if they hope to be successful. Not only is the area starting to produce some serious talent for recruiting purposes, but the UA also has a large number of alumni living up north in the valley.
The program has a bit of an unclear picture for spring practices due to the north end zone construction project, but it does look like the Wildcats will be making the trip north to scrimmage in front of their fans.
Anthony Gimino of the Tucson Citizen provides the latest update:
Coach Rich Rodriguez told TucsonCitizen.com earlier this week the Wildcats will scrimmage in the Valley on March 24, likely at Glendale Community College.
Rodriguez said part of the reason to scrimmage in Phoenix is "make our presence felt in the Valley, but also to provide a service for all the fans we have in that area. ... It's a chance for the local fans to see some of the players and see some of the things we're doing. And I think being in a different environment might be a neat experience for the guys."
Rodriguez cautioned there might not be much to see as the coaching staff implements new schemes on each side of the ball.
"This is going to be the ugliest spring that we will ever have," Rodriguez said. "A part of me doesn't know how much we want people to watch it. We're not worried about people scouting us for spring practice. We're really trying to just evaluate our players and teach fundamentals."
Rodriguez has maintained the belief that switching around the UA schemes would take some time and the practices and scrimmages will undoubtably be tough to watch at times. Honestly, though, even the elite football programs in the country like Alabama and Texas have sloppy moments in the spring and use the time to work out all the kinks in their system.
I'm a big fan of the move north and should provide UA fans and alumni in the Phoenix area a chance to checkout the 2012 football team. It should also help with recruiting, seeing as the coaching staff can tell potential recruits that all they have to do is drive across town to check out a practice instead of heading all the way down to Tucson.