Gimino: Magloire has to let his play do his talking

Paul Magloire Jr. (Source: University of Arizona Athletics)
Paul Magloire Jr. (Source: University of Arizona Athletics)
Published: Sep. 1, 2015 at 8:55 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:24 PM MST
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Anthony Gimino
Anthony Gimino

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - I keep watching. Waiting. Wondering.

It's been nearly a month now. Nearly a month since Arizona Wildcats safety Paul Magloire -- the social media rally king for the team's 2015 recruiting class -- started fall camp and switched to Twitter silence. So, we wait. Come back, Paul.

His last retweet, from way back on August 4 -- seemingly years in Twitter time -- sits lonely at the top of his page.

Not that he has had any choice in the matter.

"The first meeting, that was kind of my rule," Arizona safeties coach Matt Caponi said about a social media ban.

"I calculated that over the course of a day ... for as much stuff as he tweeted or retweeted in a day, it came out to like four hours. I said, 'There's gotta be something better you can do over the course of a day than that.'"

Caponi's math might be full of fuzz, but you get the idea. Magloire did.

All work, no tweet. Got it, Coach.

Magloire was, perhaps in part because of his social media presence, one of the most interesting and high-profile players in Arizona's recruiting class. The transfer from Arizona Western signed in December. He earned second-team NJCAA All-America honors. Played a position of need for the Wildcats.

Arizona got his commitment early, in May of 2014, before he produced a monster year in his first full season at safety. By then, he started hearing from lots of other Pac-12 schools, but you could tell from his Twitter feed that he was still waving the cardinal and navy pom-poms.

"I was pretty hyped up," he said. "I was a pretty big cheerleader, I guess you can call it, trying to get everyone to know that Arizona is going to be the place to be this year."

Magloire will most definitely help Arizona try to get to that special place, but it won't be as a starter in Thursday night's opener vs. UTSA. He should in the rotation, in certain packages and all over on special teams, but Arizona coaches have been somewhat cautious about making grand statements about Magloire's progress.

"Paul is going to continue to learn," defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel said recently at Arizona Media Day.

"He's a big, strong and physical guy. We're trying to get him to understand about how to work and come out every day and be accountable at the pace you have to be. For a new kid coming in, that's tough. He's a talented kid. He's a good kid. And he's a guy who is going to help us.

"But I think the grind of camp kind of got to him."

Magloire looks the part at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds. So there's that. He started camp at the Bandit safety position vacated by graduated Jared Tevis, but junior Tellas Jones has locked down that spot. Magloire is now backing up senior Will Parks at the Spur safety. That's not a bad thing, having reps at both spots, which are sometimes interchangeable in Arizona's 3-3-5 scheme.

Coaches also talk about deploying Magloire in the tackle box when Arizona goes to its lighter, pass-rushing SWAT package on third down. He's a guy who has the build and skills to blitz or cover.

"I have a little 'hybrid' in me, so it's a good fit," Magloire said.

Hybrid. That's a good way to describe his career. This hybrid has already motored around the block a time or two.

After attending high school on Long Island, he played quarterback at Milford Academy in upstate New York before signing with lower-division Appalachian State. He redshirted in 2012, played some running back in 2013 and then landed at Arizona Western for last season, when he was able to concentrate solely on being a safety.

He has a rare combination -- he's an older player (four years past his high school graduation) who still has so much potential growth because of his newness at the position at college football's highest level.

"I'm definitely understanding the pace," he said of the way Arizona coaches operate practice. "The pace is different in junior college, I tell you that much. This is big-time football, Pac-12 football, and completely different.

"I remember when I first got here, I was dying. I was like, 'Whoa, I never knew they played football this fast.'"

He knows now. He has two years of eligibility at Arizona, so there's ample time to make an impact. After Magloire pushed through camp, Caponi said his biggest challenge is the mental aspect -- "taking everything in and game-planning and knowing certain situations."

We'll see what it looks like Thursday night.

"My ceiling is pretty high right now," Magloire said. "By the time I leave here, hopefully, I'm doing great things and I have learned a whole bunch more. I have only been here a semester and a summer, so who knows who much I'll learn?"

And who knows when he'll be able to tell the whole world about it.

Caponi just might extend that social media ban past the season-opener.

"We'll see," he said with a smile.

"It's gone so well I might push it to week seven. And if that goes well, I just might make it the whole year."

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Anthony Gimino has covered University of Arizona athletics for more than two decades, including as the football beat writer for the Arizona Daily Star and the columnist for the Tucson Citizen.