On Day 9 of fall camp, Arizona scrimmaged. For the Wildcats, one of the key data points from that day came from the quarterback.

It’s no secret Washington State transfer Jayden de Laura is still working his way into comfort within a new offense. Freshman Noah Fifita is nipping at his heels on the depth chart. Fisch has been very clear from the get-go that de Laura is the leader in the clubhouse to earn Arizona’s starting job—he has taken the first-team reps—but this has been a process.

Head coach Jedd Fisch admitted that de Laura has struggled. Something clicked during the walkthrough after Thursday’s practice, though. And de Laura has been more accurate, more decisive since.

During the team’s scrimmage on Saturday, de Laura engineered a pair of touchdown drives, one of which included a lobbed 4-yard touchdown throw to freshman wideout Tetairoa McMillan. De Laura put it right on the money, back shoulder where only McMillan could get it.

“There were some things he just needed to see,” Fisch said. “He just needed a rhythm. He’s got a nice little confidence about himself that when he feels he knows something, he’s going to execute it really well. Sometimes when you have a new play coming in or a couple new things, he was maybe overthinking here or there. Jayden’s getting better every day. I just tell him to trust the process, and if you do that good things will come your way.”

At Washington State, de Laura was organizing a run-and-shoot attack that worked almost exclusively out of the gun. Terminology was different. The tight end position didn’t exist. At Arizona, the style is more pro, the terminology new, and the tight end very present.

With pads on and tacklers bearing down on him with the intention of actually hitting him, de Laura had a chance to be a little more natural with his decision-making. Fisch stopped short of calling him a ‘gamer’—which would imply he’s not the same kind of practice player—but contended the calculus for a mobile quarterback is just different when he’s in 7-on-7s and can’t be hit. The decision-making piece isn’t the same.

“Guys that have the skill sets of a Jayden that can run and throw, guys that are able to be slithery in the pocket like a Noah, even Jordan (McCloud) to a degree, sometimes when you’re sitting back in the pocket and you’re not getting tackled in practice, it doesn’t look like you’re making some of the plays that you really would end up making,” Fisch said. “Those are really the gamers, the guys that can make plays in games that in practice they’re sitting back there and not really doing their natural (thing).

“The other part of it is, there are guys that can turn it up a notch when the lights are on.”

You can see the rest of Fisch’s scrimmage breakdown below.