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Arizona football: Paul Magloire finds new success at linebacker

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Paul Magloire made the move to linebacker vs. Oregon State, and it clearly paid off

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

With Derrick Turituri and Haden Gregory out, while throwing guys like Tre Tyler, Brandon Rutt, and R.J. Morgan into the fire, it was time for the Arizona Wildcats to just put the best players on the field, regardless of the position. After scrambling for linebacker depth, Jeff Casteel might have struck gold, moving Paul Magloire from safety to linebacker.

"A couple reasons. We wanted to get athletic at linebacker and then a couple of the schemes they were doing with an athletic quarterback, some jet sweeps and some perimeter stuff, we wanted to get some athleticism out there," Rich Rodriguez said about the switch from safety to linebacker for Magloire. "For one week of playing that one position, I thought he did pretty well."

The 6-1, 210 lb. junior college product out of Arizona Western came into spring and fall camp as a strong safety, capable of playing both the bandit and spur positions. He was a situational guy for the Arizona defense and was used sparingly, recording a total of 8 tackles in the previous five games.

"I was excited all week. it was tough for me to keep it in and not tweet about it," Paul Magloire said about playing linebacker at practice this week. "It was exciting, coach put faith in me and coached me up all week."

"But it's really, in all actuality, the same as playing the spur, just on the other side. It's just a little more tough, it had similarities but it wasn't too bad," Magloire continued. "My coaches did a great job. Coach Rod even thinking of moving me there and Coach Casteel coaching me up and Coach Caponi so everything was just fluid."

On Saturday, Magloire was the focal point of the Arizona defense, leading the team in tackles, making the switch seamlessly. He ended the day with nine tackles, two of which were for a loss.

His skill set is unique, showing off a blend of Jared Tevis, Tra'Mayne Bondurant and current Cincinnati Bengal linebacker Marquis Flowers. He's got the speed to go along with his instincts, and he can deliver the big hit. Magloire was someone I was high on heading into this season, and now I think we can expect him to continue excelling in his new role as a linebacker.