Onwuasor working on position change

Patrick Onwuasor was recruited to play offense at Arizona, but is now finding himself on the defensive side of the ball. Read on for his thoughts on the move, how he has been doing, and more.

With fall camp underway, Arizona's new coaches have had just over half a year to think about the state of the roster.

While there were holes at many positions, some of which have been addressed, there are still pieces missing on defense.

With Jeff Casteel's 3-3-5 defense being implemented, there is one more defensive back spot on the field than there was a year ago. Naturally, there would be some thinness in the secondary because of it.

One player that has stepped up for the coaches, Patrick Onwuasor, has moved from wide receiver to defensive back.

"I'm liking it right now," Onwuasor said. "It's a big change to get used to after just playing receiver last year. Coach Rodriguez and I talked and made that decision and now I'm starting to like it."

Onwuasor redshirted as a freshman last season and was taking reps at the receiver spot in the spring. However, at the conclusion of spring drills, Rich Rodriguez approached the freshman and asked him to play defense.

"Coach Rod asked me if I wanted to try out defense since he knew I played in high school," he said. "I told him that I like to be aggressive, so I said I'd try it out.

"That was really the whole story. Playing time was a bit of an issue, too, because we don't have too many guys on defense right now. That was one of the factors."

Immediately after the decision, Onwuasor started working out with the defense in summer workouts. He admits that it was rough at first, but a few of the upperclassmen helped him polish his skills.

"The older guys got on me real quick and said that I needed to work out so that I'll be ready to go," Onwuasor said. "(Shaq Richardson) was one of the main dudes that helped me this summer. Him and Marquis (Flowers) helped me out to make sure my backpedal move was good as well as some other things like tracking the ball and reading the backs."

Now that he is in fall camp and working exclusively with the defense, Onwuasor is picking it up quickly, and hopes to see plenty of playing time this season.

"I'm catching on really quickly," he said. "Right now, I'm on the field with the veterans and we're only a couple days in, so I feel pretty good about that. I just have to move a little bit faster and then I'll probably get into the transition.

"Some of these guys have been here on defense since the spring and I'm just working hard to catch up."

The converted receiver played on both sides of the ball in high school and even had offers from plenty of colleges to play defense, including Arizona State, Nebraska, Oregon State, and Washington. Even though he came to Arizona to be a receiver, he doesn't have any regrets about his decision.

"I still would've come to Arizona if I knew that I would play defense," he said. "This was always my number one place to be. There were a bunch of schools that were trying to get me for defense and I really wasn't going for it.

"I wanted to be a wide out, but the coaches finally caught up to me and now I'm pretty happy on defense."

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