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Arizona LB Derek Earls flashes potential.

LB Derek Earls entered the week one match-up at Toledo as a major question mark. By the end of the game, I was entirely impressed with him. I am really high on this guy. I have been since it was announced that he had agreed to transfer to Arizona from North Dakota State College of Science. One look at his highlight reel, and I was hooked. He flashed some amazing potential. Flying all over the field, delivering punishing tackles. But the question remained, "What will he do against an FBS opponent?". While Earls clearly didn’t dominate the Rockets as he did his JUCO opponents, he did perform well. Much better than nearly every pre-season report had predicted. It seemed that the only solid reason any columnist could point to for not picking Arizona in the top three of the Pac-10 was the lack of experience at LB. After the performance at Toledo, suddenly the Wildcats are ranked #23 in the nation. Coincidence? I submit that the question of whether or not the LBs will be a liability has been answered. It may seem premature, but I stand by it. No one will ask the LBs to carry the defense this season. A solid line and an impressive secondary mean that the LBs simply need to not get confused, make sure tackles, and support the run defense. I look forward to many more Derek Earls highlights, and am confident that he will be another great Arizona Wildcat.

According to this article, Earls has never played in front of a crowd anywhere near as large as he will this weekend when The Citadel comes to town. Lets all show him some love. I’ll be there, shouting support for him whenever he steps onto the field. I look forward to seeing all of you out there. Bear Down Arizona!

A nice Derek Earls press conference clip.