Arizona Wildcats starting free safety Adam Hall, who suffered a torn ACL during Wednesday’s practice, says the injury won’t cost him the entire 2011 season.
“I do anticipate playing at some point of this year,” Hall said after Saturday’s scrimmage at Arizona Stadium.
As far as when he’ll undergo surgery and the timeline of the rehab … well, that will just have to wait for now.
Head coach Mike Stoops estimated it could be a seventh-month injury, which means the Wildcats would be through October by the time Hall is ready. Hall said he is hoping for a shorter recovery time.
In the meantime, he will be doing a lot of what he did Saturday — yelling encouragement to his fellow defensive backs.
“That’s going to be my role until I’m ready to play,” said Hall, who appeared to be in good spirits.
“There is a lot of stuff that goes into our defense and there are a lot of young players who are just starting the system. … It will still be an opportunity for me to take mental reps and still be a leader and part of the team as far as being able to get ready for the season. It’s going to be around the corner really fast.”
Hall, who was the team’s nickel back last season and fifth-leading tackler (54), was projected into an even bigger role as a junior. He does have a redshirt season available.
In his absence, senior Robert Golden moves from starting cornerback to full-time safety, where he played for his first two seasons. He likely was going to play a lot of safety anyway, as Arizona is well-stocked at cornerback with senior Trevin Wade and sophomores Shaquille Richardson and Jonathan McKnight.
“Just trying to adapt to the position again,” Golden said. “I have been getting a lot of reps at safety through spring ball so once Adam went down, then that made it official. … I know I have to fill some big shoes.”
Stoops said he likes some of his younger safeties, naming redshirt freshmen Josh Robbins and Jourdon Grandon.
Sophomore Marquis Flowers, who likely would have been the nickel back this season, likely becomes a starting safety, although Stoops said the team will have to evaluate whether he is better closer to the ball or as a deep safety.