Arizona's Golden moves from corner to safety

March, 4, 2009
3/04/09
3:49
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

TUCSON, Ariz. -- It looks like Robert Golden, a touted 2008 recruit, is no longer expected to become Arizona's next great cornerback.

That doesn't, however, preclude him from becoming a great strong safety.

In a move that coach Mike Stoops said will get Golden on the field as a starter faster, Golden will line up as the No. 1 strong safety Wednesday afternoon when the Wildcats start spring practices, a year after he saw action as a true freshman backup cornerback.

If Golden is bothered by the move, he didn't reveal any frustration to reporters.

"If moving me to safety is going to get me on the field, I'm all for it," he said.

Golden, who played in the U.S. Army All-American game after his senior year at Fresno's Edison High, had 13 tackles last year while backing up the departed Marquis Hundley.

But Stoops said they were comfortable with four other cornerbacks, returning starter Devin Ross -- second-team All-Pac-10 in 2008 -- backed up by Mike Turner on one side, and Trevin Wade and JC transfer Marcus Benjamin battling it out for the vacancy on the other side.

"We're always going to look to get our best 11 on on the field," Stoops said. "We'll see if Golden can adjust and adapt."

That means the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Golden will be expected to help more in run support and will be relied on less for one-on-one coverage.

Golden said he played some safety in high school and said he embraces increased run-stopping responsibilities.

"I have to come up and be physical," he said.

Golden is slated to play beside Cam Nelson, who returns at free safety.

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