Anthony Fotu isn’t shy when discussing what adjustments he had to make in order to play on the defensive line at Arizona.
“At the beginning it was kind of hard because I was still learning the plays, but overall I learned a lot throughout the camp,” Fotu said.
“I am used to the 4-3 defense. I have been playing it since I have been playing football. I am slowly getting used to the 3-3-5.”
One player in particular has been working with Gilbert to ease the transition.
“Reggie Gilbert has been helping me since I got here,” Fotu said. I know that if I need help, Reggie is the man to go to.”
In addition, Fotu has built a strong relationship with defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich.
“I love that old man to death,” Fotu said. “He just shows a lot of respect, not just to me, but everybody.
“He really gets on you, but you know it is a respect thing. When he goes off on me I don’t take it personal. I know he wants me to get better.”
Not only is Fotu working toward learning the scheme, but he also wants to get to his ideal weight.
“Since I got here I have been losing weight,” he said. “I was 290 when I got here and then 275, 280, 285. It has been going up and down, but the coaches want me to gain weight.
“I lose a lot of weight. The first practice I lost like 10 pounds. It is hard to gain weight, especially when we do so much running in this heat.”
Fotu is thankful that he knows how to go about the entire process due in large part to his brother.
“Playing at a junior college first helped me a lot because if I would have came straight from high school it would have been bad,” he said.
“I have an older brother, Joe, on Illinois that helped me go through my ways in junior college and now he is at Illinois. It helps a lot.”