TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - BJ Denker saw great success in his senior year as Arizona’s quarterback.
Over 2,500 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and a bowl victory in Rich Rodriguez’s 2nd season as head coach. Denker now finds himself back here in Tucson.
“Yea it's good to be back,” says Denker.
Denker spent two seasons under Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M as a Graduate Assistant. Now, Denker is finding himself as a mentor too.
"I've been through the fire. Anytime they need something from me, I’m there for them,” says Denker.
Denker faced the same criticism in his Arizona playing career that quarterback Brandon Dawkins is now facing as the presumed starting quarterback for the Wildcats.
They're both run first quarterbacks.
“He's been through it in the football side and the off the field side,” says Dawkins. “So he understands what it's like and what I go through. So to have him there just for the moral support and everything off the field has been tremendous.”
With seven quarterbacks on Rich Rod's roster, the Wildcats faced a quarterback battle heading into fall camp.
“I was in a quarterback battle my senior year,” says Denker. “It's fun. Competition breeds success.”
Though Denker says the quarterback roles are more established now than when he was playing.
“He's also learning what kind of head coach he might want to be one day."
“Coach Sumlin is a little more laid back,” says Denker. “Coach Rodriguez is, as everyone knows, intense. Which is great. It's interesting to see both sides, and I think I want to be like right down the middle.”
“He's kind of what he's preaching,” says Dawkins. “He'll get on you. If I make a mistake out there, he'll be on me about it, but he's not as intense as some of the other people,” said Dawkins says as he jokingly looks over at Coach Rodriguez.
Denker has just one thing left to say of being back here in Tucson....”Just bear down!"