Jarvis McCall was thought of as a corner with a lot of potential in his first two years with the Arizona Wildcats. After a pretty good redshirt freshman campaign, he was thought to be the future at the position, but the 6-foot-2 defensive back struggled with injuries in 2015. Now he plans to make a name for himself at safety, a position he feels suits him better.
McCall made the move to safety this spring, which was a somewhat surprising move with the lack of depth at cornerback and his experience there.
"The decision was mutual," he said when asked whose decision it was. "I wanted to be on the field more and they wanted to put all the best athletes on the field, and when they told me I could be around the ball more it was a done deal. I just want to be on the field at the end of the day."
When asked what skills would translate well from corner to safety, he said "My ball skills. At safety you’re around the ball more."
In addition to learning a new position, McCall has also had to learn the ways of the new defensive coaching staff.
"They put less responsibility and let us not think about things as much and just go out there and make plays," he said of the major difference in coaching philosophy this year. "They tell us ‘if you do your job and the person next to you does their job, then everything should go as planned’."
I also asked him if there are any leaders of the secondary, but he responded "We are all just one. We all communicate with each other. We’re just one back there."
Arizona’s revamped defense has put an emphasis on forcing turnovers. The Wildcats’ defense was second-to-last in interceptions last year, and that is something the coaches are definitely trying to change.
So how does a secondary and defense do that?
"Just grow more as a defense and communicate better," Jarvis explained. "If everybody does their own job, everything will gel together."
McCall has a chance to start at one of the three safety spots this year. The coaches are trying to get athletes on the field, and with McCall, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, and Tellas Jones at safety, they are getting just that.