Paul Magloire primed for season, despite challenges
Around this time last season, Arizona linebacker Paul Magloire spent the entire fall camp viewed as a junior college product and just another player on the depth chart starving for minutes. Oh how times have changed as Magloire steps into a drastically upgraded role for his last rodeo in Tucson.
Magloire is unlike any UA player on the roster, because even though he consumed heavy minutes late in the 2015 season, his journey to mold into the Wildcats’ leader was an uphill battle.
Formerly a JUCO product, Magloire played for one of the most prominent programs in the country at Arizona Western in Yuma, where he spent the 2014 season as a second-team All-American and led the No. 5 Matadors to an 11-1 record.
Magloire always reminisces on his days back in Yuma even if most people view the city as a pit stop on the way to California. He views Arizona Western as the football oasis that boosted his game both physically and mentally.
The Netflix series “Last Chance U”, which traces East Mississippi Community Colleges’ historical football team and reveals the struggles of being a troubled athlete just trying to break through the division one door, is a documentary that Magloire cherishes.
“It’s different, because you’re at a level where no one is really looking into it and it’s hard to get scouted from there,” Magloire said.
Magloire led the Matadors defense with 101 tackles as a safety and caught the attention of Wildcats Head Coach Rich Rodriguez and then-Defensive-Coordinator Jeff Casteel. For the first time in his football career, Magloire had a clean slate and a fresh start for a defense that already had starters penciled in for the 2015 season.
Before the black cat riddled Arizona’s linebackers with injuries, Magloire was a bulky defensive back with an opportunity to switch to linebacker and play quality minutes for a desperate defense. Sure enough, Magloire finished the season second on the team in tackles.
“I knew once I got out there, I had to eat, try to make some plays and play so we can win some games,” Magloire said.
Magloire exceeded expectations and the bar is set even higher now that he’s a veteran leader for the mysterious defense that first-year Defensive Coordinator Marcel Yates is introducing. It’s not the first time a challenging situation has presented itself to Magloire, but the new defense has been easier to pick up than he thought.
“I adjusted to it pretty fast, but I’m still picking it up and learning it day-by-day,” Magloire said. “Coach Yates did a good job coaching us up at fall camp and getting everything in so we know what we got this season … this is going to be a good year for us this year defensively and we got guys in the right spot.”
Yate’s defense will contain multiple stunts and techniques so Magloire lining up occasionally at safety will add another dimension. Usually a player that is know as a “tweener”, which is a player that doesn’t have a true position is viewed as a poisonous prospect for the NFL, but Magloire is expected to go anywhere from the fourth to the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, according to CBS Sports.
In addition to all the challenges on the field, as of May, Magloire is now a proud dad to newborn son Brayden. It makes this season even more important because it could make such an impact for his family.
Magloire has a high ceiling and the NFL is a foreseeable future, but Magloire is looking forward to update his credentials before reaching the biggest stage.
“I’m happy that I’m playing in the Pac-12 and I’m excited for this season, because who knows where it’s going to go and my team is ready,” Magloire said.
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