OT: Congrats to RRod for Finding The Gem Of All Gems

Submitted by IvyLeague on December 9th, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Arizona's Scooby Wright won the Nagurski Award for the nation's best defensive player. It's crazy he's only a true sophomoe. Past winners include our own Charles Woodson.  Many of you have probably seen him and play and would agree he has the best linebacker in a very long time. Would've been interesting to see him paired with RRod recruited Butkas Finalist Jake Ryan. 140+ tackles (89 solo), 27 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. He had no other offers. For a guy not known for defense, seems to be able to find linebackers.



Darker Blue

December 9th, 2014 at 5:34 PM ^

He impressed me the couple of different times I watched 'Zona. Except in that 'ship game against Oregon. Nobody from 'Zona looked good in that game. Not even Rich Rod 



December 9th, 2014 at 5:44 PM ^

He pretty much won the first Oregon game for AZ. Strip sack recovery with Oregon driving and two minutes to play. If the Heisman really went to the best player, I think he'd be a strong candidate

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December 9th, 2014 at 5:56 PM ^

this Rodriguez guy...you say he DEVELOPS TALENT...interesting concept. UM 2011 wins 11 games and the Sugar bowl, then the program gets progressively worse...hmmm......would you then summize the "michigan man" we hired to save our program does not develop talent? I think I agree!!! HIS talent went 11-2...


December 9th, 2014 at 6:05 PM ^

I'm going to disagree with you a little bit. I think the truth is that hard work, dedication, and intensity is what produces excellence. Scooby is a guy famous for working longer hours than everyone else and, like Ryan, he brings intensity on the field. I think Hoke's problem was, for whatever reason, more such guys did not emerge. I suspect the problem was that Hoke demanded commitment but not intensity

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December 9th, 2014 at 9:45 PM ^

with some of that...but to Me the OSU game showed the talent on this team. The errors showed a lack of development and coaching. A huge part of coaching is getting players to buy into your system and using the most of the talent available to you. I feel confident these kids worked very hard, had a good deal of intensity, but they were poorly directed, and misguided. Not until his FIFTH year did Gardner know how to read a defense...thats pathetic.

Mr Miggle

December 9th, 2014 at 10:13 PM ^

His ability to read a defense went downhill this season, significantly so. The bit about reading defenses was trumpeted preseason here after Nussmeier taught him a different way than Borges had. The assumption here was that just showed how incompetent Borges was as a QB coach. The evidence is that Gardner went sharply backwards.


December 9th, 2014 at 6:25 PM ^

RichRod has a nack for picking really good 2 and 3 star talent and taking them to levels way beyond what their expected ability was, there is no doubting that.

I even think that the sugar bowl year with RR + Casteel could have been magical for michigan



The one thing he really still sucks ass at is special teams.... just terrible.  Still using a walk on kicker. (though he did lose them a game, he also did decent otherwise) 


If that guy could put a good special teams package together with a great punter (i think he overlooks the spot due to their tempo of play)  they'd be something special... they already were this year..


Good for Scooby, that dude is a BEAST.  Good on RR for giving him a shot. 


Can we get our harbaugh now and stop  thinking about RR?   I like the dude, i just don't want to have to think about how the past couple years could have been way better anymore. 


December 9th, 2014 at 6:31 PM ^

"Several winners of the Nagurski award have gone on to play at a high level in the NFL, including Luke Kuechly, the reigning defensive player of the year, Champ Bailey, Terrell Suggs, Derrick Johnson and Charles Woodson."

As a minor note, Warren Sapp, Pat Fitzgerald and even the Lions' Ndamukong Suh have one this as well, so some interesting company indeed. Congratulations to him.


December 9th, 2014 at 8:00 PM ^

He is the #1 reason to watch Arizona play.  He shows up every single game and makes big plays.  His sack, TFL, and forced fumble totals would be in the top three nationally in any of the past seven years, and he does it playing behind a 250 pound walk-on nose tackle.  He has a crazy motor and is damned near unblockable.  He's really fun to watch. 


December 10th, 2014 at 9:27 AM ^

Congrats to Rich Rod, he did his job as a coach and recruited a good player.


I remember back to 2008, when Rich Rod had 6 NFL players on his defense (Jamison, Graham, Martin, Mouton, Trent, Brown), four of which have started in the NFL, and they were awful. 


Glad he is having success in Zona, but unlike some here, I remember the Rich Rod who only beat Purdue and Illinois his final season here as we struggles to get to 7 wins. Anyone with a pulse beat us like a drum. 


December 10th, 2014 at 6:50 PM ^

This is a saucy subject, but I can't resist!

Scooby should have had more offers and I'd bet he was overlooked because he's white.  I always thought RR was "fair" in terms of evaluating talent, as opposed to Hoke who pretty much told incumbent starting safety Ray Vinopal to beat it.

Wisconsin football isn't quite "elite" but they are regularly ranked and start 15 or 16 whites, some even at "skill positions" that aren't usually reserved for "lunch pail" type players.  It's such a stark anomaly and yet it can absolutely never be discussed.  I am inclined to believe that there are a few more Scooby Wrights out there for the plucking in every recruiting class.