Arizona Wildcats starting safety Adam Hall likely has a torn ACL, according to early testing, which could put him out for the 2011 season, coach Mike Stoops told TucsonCitizen.com on Friday night.
Hall suffered the injury in Wednesday’s practice.
“He was just up competing for a football against a receiver, and he just came down on it awkwardly,” Stoops said.
This is the second major injury of the spring for the Wildcats. Backup running back Greg Nwoko suffered an ACL tear last weekend. Stoops has estimated both rehabs at about seven months, give or take. Best-case scenarios seem to be a late-season return.
Hall’s injury figures to be more significant. Hall, who was the team’s nickel back last season and is the defense’s most feared hitter, began spring as the starting free safety. His backup is Josh Robbins, who redshirted last season as a freshman, but Stoops will be shuffling a deep secondary.
Senior Robert Golden, who played two seasons at safety before starting at cornerback last season, will move back to his old position.
Stoops said his spring plan included giving Golden a lot of work at safety anyway.
Arizona has senior Trevin Wade and sophomores Shaquille Richardson and Jonathan McKnight at cornerback.
“We’re good at corner,” Stoops said. “We feel that is where we are the strongest in the secondary.”
Golden and sophomore Marquis Flowers are now in line to be the starting safeties. Click here for the pre-spring depth chart.
Hall, from Palo Verde High School, was arguably Arizona’s top recruit in its 2009 class, rated as a four-star prospect. Hall made 54 tackles last season (fifth-best on the team) and intercepted two passes.
He has not redshirted, so he could sit out all season and return as a junior in 2012. Any possible return from injury late in the 2011 season would have to be weighed against the wisdom of burning through a year of eligibility.
Stoops noted that Arizona hasn’t has many ACL injuries in the past, but his team had two within five days.
“It’s disappointing to lose two players of that caliber this early in spring,” Stoops said. “To have two guys go that fast, it’s weird. Injuries kind of snowball like that.”
Stoops will be hoping to get through Saturday’s scrimmage without any more problems. The team will have an open practice at Arizona Stadium from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.