Arizona Wildcats offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone didn’t need words to describe how he feels about having Donovan Laie back along the offensive line.
He simply smiled, thrust his arms into the air, and held them there for a few seconds for everyone to see.
“Can you write that in your paper?” Mazzone asked the Daily Star’s Michael Lev.
Arizona offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone had a hilarious answer when asked what it means to have Donovan Laie back on the offensive line pic.twitter.com/rARl1niq2b— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) October 10, 2020
For a moment there, it appeared Laie had played his last game as a Wildcat. The star left tackle announced on Sept. 29 that he was entering the transfer portal. But the very next day he retracted it, saying he would resume his career at the UA after all.
It was a huge boost for Arizona’s offense, which now has its blindside protected heading into the 2020 season.
“It was awesome,” Mazzone said using words this time. “Donovan is such an awesome guy and an awesome player. It was very important and for him to make the decision he made, which I believe 1,000 percent he made the right decision and he believes that too, which I’m pretty sure was not only the best decision for him, but for this football team because he’s not only a good player but a well-liked person on this football team. And he’s one of the guys on our offense that’s played in a lot of games and brings us some experience. So, yeah, that was kind of a few nail-biting days there a week or so ago, but it’s been awesome having him back and he’s been doing great. Got a smile on his face and really doing a good job.”
Laie’s teammates welcomed him back with open arms.
“It was a tough situation because Donovan is a great football player, he’s a great person, someone that everyone wants around, everyone wants to be around,” said redshirt senior center Josh McCauley. “It was tough to see him make that decision, but I think after that happened, we kind of came together as a family and we showed that this is the culture that we’re trying to build here as a community, as a team that that we want to continue to progress towards. And when he decided that he’s going to stick around, it was great to hear. I love playing next to him and he’s a great football player.”