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Arizona football: Freshman defensive lineman Luca Bruno ruled eligible

Luca Bruno

The Arizona Wildcats might get some midseason help on the defensive line.

True freshman Luca Bruno has been deemed academically eligible to play by the NCAA clearinghouse, the school announced Thursday.

The wait has been frustrating for coach Rich Rodriguez, who said in camp Bruno was in line to possibly see playing time behind nose guard Tevin Hood.

The NCAA originally deemed Bruno a non-qualifier but approved a waiver request from the athletic department. Bruno, from Oak Park (Calif.) High School, has been held out of practice for about a month as a precaution.

“It gets to the point where it might take him two to three weeks just to get ready now,” Rodriguez said Wednesday.

The NCAA’s decision means that Bruno has the usual five years to complete four seasons of eligibility. Rodriguez sounded like he isn’t at the point yet where he would rule out the possibility of Bruno (6-4, 259) playing this season.

“I’d like to just get him out there at practice,” Rodriguez said, “because every day he misses is a day of development he’s missing.”

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