Garr making smooth transition to linebacker

After spending his first two seasons on the Louisville roster as a safety, sophomore Stephen Garr is making the move to linebacker this spring. Garr, who was also a key member of last season's special teams squad, spoke with following Sunday's practice...

After spending his first two seasons at the University of Louisville as a safety, sophomore Stephen Garr is making the transition to outside linebacker this spring. A solid contributor on the Cardinals special teams squad last fall, Garr appeared in all 13 games and totaled 13 tackles in 2006.

During Sunday's simulated scrimmage, the 6'1, 210 pound Garr made three impressive tackles, including a big hit that stopped one Cardinal running back at the line of scrimmage.

"It's a lot different then safety," Garr said of the position change. "You're closer to all the action on almost every play. At safety I could take a play off every now and then, so I like it. It's more about going forward and I think I'm a better player going forwards then I am going backwards, so I think linebacker is a good fit for me."

It's not the first time that the former Kentucky All-Star has played linebacker. In addition to wide receiver, Garr was a standout for Bob Redman's Male High defense throughout his Bulldog career.

"It comes natural," he said. "I played linebacker in high school, so I've done it before. I like to hit, so that's not a problem. To be able to come up and make some plays is all I want to do."

While just three days into spring practice, Garr echoes the sentiments of many, this year's Red Swarm defense has the makings of becoming a great one.

"I think we look good," said Garr. "We all play as a unit pretty well, but we still have a lot of things to work on. Overall, I think we'll be a great defense this year and could be better then we were last year."

In addition to his work with the linebackers, Garr hopes to continue his work with the special teams.

"I did every special teams last year, so I want to be on it again," he explained. "Kickoff was my favorite thing to do. I get excited about it. I like to be the first one out there and just run down the field and make a big play. I love doing special teams and have no problem doing it. I hope they put me back on there."

Likely to be making big plays this fall on special teams, Garr also hopes to see some time at linebacker in 2007.

"I hope I do," he said. "I really want to get some quality playing time this year, but that's up to the coaches. I'm going to give my all everyday in practice and hope that they will put me out there. I would really love to see it."

The Cardinals will spend Monday in a team meeting and working in the weight room. The team will return to practice on Tuesday at 4:50 p.m..

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