Two of Southern Arizona’s most successful high school coaches, Jeff Scurran and Pat Nugent, have helped develop a couple of the finest quarterbacks to come out of Tucson who are now important contributors for the Arizona Wildcats’ football team.
Sophomore Rhett Rodriguez of Catalina Foothills is slated to be the starter at UCLA tomorrow in place of the injured Khalil Tate.
Joiner, a true freshman who starred at Cienega, has played as the top backup for Tate in the previous two games by design from coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and by need because of Tate’s injured ankle.
Joiner figures to get playing opportunities as Rodriguez’s backup against the Bruins.
I was able to catch up with Scurran and Nugent this week to get their thoughts of Rodriguez (son of former Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez) and Joiner getting quality reps with the Wildcats.
Scurran said of Rhett, who threw for 2,996 yards as a senior in 2016 with 30 touchdowns and three interceptions, “He’s as intelligent as can be. He does the hard, grind work that most people just don’t ever do and he does it religiously. His success is just not an accident. You see people like that, they’re leaders by example. Kids follow him like he’s got candy falling out of his pocket. He’s incredible.”
Here’s the video of Scurran’s interview regarding Rhett Rodriguez:
Nugent said of Joiner, who led Cienega to a 12-1 season last year passing for 2,196 yards with 26 touchdowns and rushing for 1,399 yards and 18 touchdowns, “He’s a freak of an athlete. … He’s going to be a superstar at some time eventually but just like any true freshman stepping into a Pac-12 football game, there’s a little deer in the headlights. Jamarye’s got a ways to go a little bit and he’s got to learn the offense. He’ll get it. I’m not worried about him. He’ll get it because he’s such an athlete. It’s more of a mental reps right now for him.”
Here’s the video of Nugent’s interview:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.