With just two practices left this spring, a couple of Arizona Wildcats cornerbacks will be learning as much safety as possible. The coaching staff has moved both Jarvis McCall and Kwesi Mashack to the back end of the secondary.
McCall, listed at 6'2", made sense as the new defensive coaching staff was looking for more size at safety. Mashack, who is shorter at 5'8", still checks in at 206 pounds, and looks a lot more solid overall compared to last year from a strength standpoint.
Mashack, a true junior, told me that the coaching staff came to him with the idea for the switch.
"You know, I'll play wherever my team needs me," Mashack said after practice on Monday. "Playing safety is cool."
With just a few practices left before the team is done for the semester, there are certainly new things that Mashack will have to learn, but he already has some experience at the position.
"I played a nickel type in high school, so the adjustment's not that big," he explained.
With both him and McCall making the late spring switch, they at least get to bounce things off each other to try and make the switch as quickly and smoothly as possible.
"Yeah me and Jarvis communicate with each other a lot and make sure we both know what we're doing so we ball out on the field."
It's not been just one safety spot for Mashack that he's learned either, but he says the coaching staff has him playing just one during practice so far.
He has also caught the eye of at least one former Arizona safety, Paul Magloire.
"He's good," Magloire said of Mashack's safety ability. "He's still learning but he's getting better as practices go on, but he can play. He can definitely play."
"I think our secondary is a lot better than what people are giving them credit for," Magloire continued. "And they're getting better with the coaching they're getting from coach (Jahmile) Addae, coach Donte' (Williams). I think this year they're going to be a strong point for us."
Arizona will need an improved secondary in 2016, especially after how 2015 went for that group. There are a lot of guys who will get playing who gained valuable experience last year. Combine that with the new coaching staff, and that should yield some better results when trying to defend those Pac-12 passing attacks.