UCLA put the finishing touches on its spring camp on Friday, the final Pac-12 program to call it quits before the summer.

Here are my biggest spring takeaways from each Pac-12 program as the long countdown to fall camp begins:

Arizona: New-look defense will be tested early

It won’t take long for the retooled Arizona defense to get its first test of the season. After opening the season with Northern Arizona, the Wildcats travel to Starkville to take on Will Rogers and the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Will all of Johnny Nansen’s spring tinkering — sprinkering? — pay off? Remember, the Wildcats only return a combined 36 starts on defense.

Gone are leading tacklers Jaxen Turner (UNLV), Jerry Roberts (UMass), Christian Young (graduated) and Christian Roland-Wallace (USC), along with top-two leading sack-men Hunter Echols (graduation) and Jalen Harris (graduated).

Incoming were talented new linebackers Justin Flowe (Oregon) and Daniel Heimuli (Washington), as well as defensive linemen Orin Patu (Cal) and Bill Norton (Georgia).

Throughout spring, Nansen played around with different rotations and units, looking to find the right blend for a defense that has been atrocious for years.

Arizona State: Colorado steals spotlight from Sun Devils’ haul

With Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders taking the college football world by storm with the most complete 1-year roster makeover in college football history, Arizona State and Kenny Dillingham are flying under the radar with their massive reconstruction.

The Sun Devils introduced 25 new transfers before spring ball — the No. 2-rated transfer class in the game, according to Rivals — and have since added another 4.

The biggest addition happened at quarterback, where Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne arrived to duke it out with stud freshman Jaden Rashada and incumbent backup-turned-starter Trenton Bourguet.

ASU’s quarterback carousel is a big like UCLA’s, where returning backup Ethan Garbers is looking to fend off fabulous freshman Dante Moore and incoming transfer Collin Schlee.

Dillingham has brought a youthful exuberance to the Sun Devils, who desperately needed it. Rescuing the program from the emotional depths of the Herm Edwards Era was the primary mission in spring ball, and Dillingham seems to have accomplished it.

Cal: Bears’ passing game needs to take a big step

The last time Cal had a difference-maker at quarterback, the Bears went 8-5.

Chase Garbers was impressive in 2019 as a sophomore, throwing 14 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions while averaging 8.9 adjusted yards per attempt and passing for 1,772 yards in 9 starts.

He finished with a passer rating of 148.9, Cal’s last primary passer above 137. Garbers followed up his big year with passer ratings of 120.3 and 136.1 before Jack Plummer hit 131.5 last year. Not terrible, but not good.

Can new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital help former TCU backup Sam Jackson IV or Fernando Mendoza break new ground for the Bears? That’s a massive question for Cal. Jackson had the edge in spring ball but did not run away with the position.

“Sam and Fernando, I think they’ve all gotten better,” Spavital told reporters near the end of spring camp. “I think I’ve figured them both out — I call two different games with those guys. I’ve figured out their strengths and their weaknesses. When you go out there and play you put them in position to have success. In the meantime, you’ve got to keep working on the deficiencies and what they’ve got to improve on.”

Colorado: Forget Deion — Shedeur Sanders is the key to the season

It’s long past time to throw out any preconceived notions about what is possible at Colorado, now that the Buffaloes have flipped their roster faster than any in college history.

There is no precedent for what Colorado has done, but the Buff’s spring game was a pretty clear indication that the passing game should take a massive leap forward with Shedeur Sanders at the helm.

The former Jackson State star joined his dad in Boulder and made an immediate splash. In Colorado’s spring game, the only one in the country to be televised live on ESPN, Sanders dazzled with his arm and legs. If he can gel quickly with a ridiculously big new cast of characters, the Buffaloes will be drastically more exciting, if not drastically better.

Oregon: Can Bo Nix make another leap?

Nix made the leap from very good to great last season, passing for 3,593 yards with a career-best 29 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, while adding 510 yards and an astounding 14 touchdowns on the ground.

He truly had just 1 stinker of a game last year — an ineffectual season-opener against Georgia, when Oregon was smashed 49-3 — and the chasm between the Ducks and the nation’s elite never looked wider.

Oregon has major aspirations in 2023, but to realize those expectations, Nix must be elite. Last year, he had an impressive 7 games with a passer rating above 175. If that number becomes his floor and he finds a true No. 1 wideout in Troy Franklin, Oregon will contend with the best of them.

Dan Lanning and new offensive coordinator Will Stein spent the spring challenging Nix to be a little better every day, and that continued growth will be key over the summer.

Oregon State: Beavers have no sure thing at quarterback

Well, this was a wrinkle. For all the hoopla over the transfer of former Clemson 5-star recruit DJ Uiagalelei, there were more positive reports out of Corvallis in regards to Ben Gulbranson and true freshman Aiden Chiles, considered one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.

Albeit against the Beavers’ lesser defense, Chiles showed out in the spring game, while Gulbranson was steady, if unspectacular, throughout spring ball.

This is truly the most important quarterback battle in the conference. Sorry UCLA, sorry ASU, sorry Cal.

The Beavers were basically a good passing game away from a 1-loss season.

Stanford: Cardinal hit the reset button

Any coaching change offers a time for reflection and an opportunity for rebirth. But it’s especially strange when a fixture like David Shaw says goodbye. Shaw wasn’t exactly a icon in Stanford — he wasn’t there long enough — but he certainly made his stamp on the program.

Now Troy Taylor has a chance to rebuild the Cardinal in his own image, and he spent the spring trying to get the Cardinal in line with his customs. That’s the hard part.

Even harder: Getting players to push the speed after playing a brand of deliberate football under Shaw and his predecessor, Jim Harbaugh, dating back 15 years.

“The first thing that comes to my mind is the speed,” quarterback Ari Patu said of Taylor’s offense in late-April. “We’re going fast. We’re going quick. The tempo is very high.”

UCLA: Tuning in to a new voice on defense

An interesting thought exercise is wondering what the UCLA defense would look like had Chip Kelly zigged instead of zagged for his first 2 defensive coordinator hires.

Kelly had the option to go young in 2018 when he took the helm, but he went with Jerry Azzinaro, who never gelled on the field or in the community. Then, instead of replacing Azzinaro with a youthful voice, he hired the 61-year-old Bill McGovern, who lasted 7 games before health issues sidelined him for more than a month late in the year.

Now Kelly replaced McGovern with 33-year-old D’Anton Lynn, who has totally changed the Bruins’ defensive energy.

That was the talk of camp. Can it be the talk of the season? If so, this could be the start of something special in Westwood.

USC: It’s Alex Grinch’s turn to clean up the defense

The feast-or-famine Trojans defense used spring ball as a chance to shore up the little things that spiraled into very, very big things last year.

Tackling, pursuit, gap control — all were of utmost priority for USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, who at times last year seemed flummoxed when the blame fell to him, even when it was his players who played hero ball.

Sometimes that translated well: USC dominated the Pac-12 in takeaways and had plenty of game-changing sacks. Sometimes it didn’t: Way, way too many yards allowed.

With two big-time playmakers off to the NFL in 2nd-round edge Tuli Tuipulotu and 3rd-round cornerback Mekhi Blackmon, USC might not have quite as many home-run hitters on defense, which might not be a terrible thing.

Utah: A starter by any other name

Much of this article revolves around starting quarterbacks, but no position in the Pac-12 may be more important to its team than Utah’s recently settled backup spot.

With Nate Johnson battling injuries and inconsistency and incumbent backup Bryson Barnes seemingly hitting a ceiling on his talent, the Utes’ Brandon Rose emerged as the team’s most likely option to stem the tide should terrific starting quarterback Cam Rising miss extended time as he recuperates from a torn ACL. The gap between Rising and any of Utah’s options is impossible to ignore, but at least Rose proved in the spring that Whittingham can sleep at night.

“I’ve learned a lot,” Rose said toward the end of spring camp. “I’m constantly just taking information from the older guys- definitely the guys up front. Cam has been a great help. Just soaking it all in, learning everything I can.”

Washington: Cornering the market key for Huskies

With 6 1st- or 2nd-round cornerbacks selected in the NFL Draft since 2015, the Huskies have a illustrious history at the position.

But after having to replace 2 of them in one season last year, Washington learned the hard way just how critical corners can be.

The Huskies struggled to replace both Trent McDuffie (pick No. 21 overall) and Kyler Gordon (pick 39) last season and, as a result, struggled to stop opposing passing games. Washington allowed 26 passing touchdowns and and ranked 10th in pass defense efficiency.

Head coach Kalen DeBoer emerged out of spring pleased with the progress of Jabbar Muhammad, Thaddeus Dixon and Elijah Jackson, along with Jaivion Green and Davon Banks.

“There are more and more guys we’re feeling comfortable with being out there,” DeBoer said. “They have the guts, they have that ability, it’s just a matter of building that trust.”

Washington State: Can Cam Ward take another step?

Aside from Caleb Williams, no new Pac-12 quarterback had as much buzz on him last season than Wazzu’s Ward. The Incarnate Word transfer was a curiosity, bumping up to the Pac-12 level, even more so than Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix.

But Penix and Nix lapped Ward early in the season and only sprinted forward from there.

Is this the year Ward catches up? It’s not that he was bad last season, passing for 3,231 yards and 23 touchdowns against 9 interceptions. But Williams, Penix and Nix were among the top quarterbacks in college football.

Ward just needs to get into the top tier of the Pac-12 for the season to be meaningful. Reports from the Palouse were that Ward took a step forward in comfort and command of the offense during spring ball, and he’ll need to take another leap in the fall.