Redshirt freshman Jacob Colacion had the goal of playing his freshman season, but that opportunity was taken from him when he injured his knee before he could even reach Arizona’s campus.
“It was frustrating at times, but it all happened for a reason,” Colacion said. “It gave me more time to focus on rehabbing my knee and strengthening that back up.”
Colacion is now completely healthy, but it did not come without its difficulty.
“I started feeling 100 percent towards the end of the season,” he said. “Right now it feels amazing without the brace and I feel faster and more natural.
“There was some hesitancy at first. There were times where I would go take off a block with my right knee up and I just wouldn’t put 100 percent into it because I was afraid something would happen to it.”
The time away from game action allowed Colacion to gain a new perspective. However, this spring had a different feel with the knowledge that he will be a contributor.
“I got a lot smarter as a linebacker,” Colacion said. “Playing scout team last year was like a robot doing the same thing over and over again. This year I feel like I get to think more and learn more plays.”
The addition of Scott Boone as Colacion’s position coach has been another adjustment for the linebacker.
“Spring practice went really well,” Colacion said. “I think I developed as a football player a lot better than I had in the past. I started to get more comfortable with Coach Boone and the spring was successful.
“Coach Boone is very old school. It is kind of his way or the highway. I respect it because he knows what he is talking about.
“He always stresses perfect practice and trying to do things the best you can every single time. I kind of got his drift as soon as he got here and that helped me progress.”
Now that he is healthy, Colacion is confident he will be able to see the field this season.
“I think my chances are pretty good,” he said. “I am rotating with the Mike and the Will, so I am learning both. I feel like there is more opportunity to get on the field.
“They are both about the same, but with the Mike you have to make all the calls and make sure everybody is in the right spot.”