The Arizona Wildcats: Three Keys To Success

David HedlindAnalyst IIMay 1, 2009

TUSCON - OCTOBER 4:  Rob Gronkowski #48 of the Arizona Wildcats carries the ball during the game against the Washington Huskies on October 4, 2008 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

This is the sixth in a 10 part series about what I see as three points that will contribute to the success of each PAC-10 team.

Young Quarterback

Willie Tuitama is gone and with him four years of starting experience.

If Arizona wants to find any shred of success, it must start at the quarterback position.

All reports point to a pair of sophomores as the lead candidates for the position. Nick Foles and Matt Scott are more mobile and well suited to the spread that Arizona runs. Tuitama ran it pretty effectively but was learning on the fly.

Scott was the back up last season and is more well known to run the ball.

Foles, a transfer from Michigan State, is the better passer of the two.

The good thing for whoever ends up winning the spot is the help they will have right away.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Nic Grigsby could very easily garner conference honors by season's end.

Tight End Rob Gronkowski

It is no surprise that Rob Gronkowski is on the early 2009 watch list for the Lombardi Award. The Lombardi Award is given to the nation's best down lineman or linebacker.

Gronkowski was named to the preseason list since he earned first team all Pac-10 honors in 2008. He was also named to the AP third team All-American.

He holds Arizona’s single game record, single season record, and career record for receptions, yards, and touchdowns by a tight end.

Oh yeah, and he is only entering his junior year.

I would be surprised if Gronkowski wasn’t either option one or the safety valve for every play until the new quarterback gets used to the offense in actual games.

Running Back Nic Grigsby

With Gronkowski leading the way on the receiving end, Nic Grigsby will be the guy running the ball.

Grigsby led the team with 1,153 yards rushing. This was the fourth best in the Pac-10 and he ranks as the third among returning players.

Grigsby earned all Pac-10 team honorable mention last season. Even though he split time, he still managed to reach ninth on the Arizona list for single season rushing yards and third for rushing touchdowns with 13.

I don’t want to keep repeating myself but the run game will be well in hand while the new quarterback gets settled in.