Arizona's Chris Putton: 'I think we're ready'
Arizona senior lineman Chris Putton hasn’t played the position in years but is being asked to carry the torch from the departure of long-time starter Kyle Quinn.
“The transition has been a little rough, but I’m getting there,” said Putton during a phone interview last week. “I’ve played left guard and [other positions]. …I had already had a talk with coach [Rich Rodriguez] last year about moving to center.
“Whatever is best for the team—I don’t care where—I just want to play.”
Putton has spent most of his collegiate career as a guard, but saw limited action at center in the backup role as a freshman when then-starter Colin Baxter went down with an injury.
That was the first time Putton had ever shotgun snapped a ball in his life. Now he has to do it in live action for an offense that likes to push the tempo and score lots of points.
“It’s a little scary at times for me,” said Putton on the pressures of being a center. “But once I get into a rhythm, [the snaps] usually get there on time and dead-on.”
Taking many by surprise, Arizona was just second to Oregon in points scored (38.2) for the Pac-12 last season and finished with eight wins overall in what was thought to be a rebuilding year.
The Wildcats are going through some major personnel changes—especially at quarterback—and are being thought to fall off in production a bit, but still expect to once again have one of the top offenses in the conference this fall.
“I think we’re ready,” said the Glendale (AZ) native. “We’ve embraced the fact that no one is talking about us right now and I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people this year.”
Arizona concluded the spring session with its annual spring game on April 13.
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