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Notes and takeaways from the Arizona Wildcats’ media availability after their 14th practice of training camp Tuesday morning:

* Senior Dane Cruikshank, who started at cornerback last season, said he has been getting time at “Spur” safety. I’ll have more on this situation – and a look at the safety group as a whole – later today.

* If Cruikshank were to move to Spur, Lorenzo Burns likely would be the top choice to start at corner opposite Jace Whittaker.

* Other cornerback candidates include Sammy Morrison, Malcolm Holland and Antonio Parks. Also, keep an eye on freshman Tony Wallace. I’ve been hearing good things.

* UA coach Rich Rodriguez expects significant defensive improvement this season. He likes the defense's activity level. Experience and size are still lacking at some spots.

* One area that remains uncertain is edge rusher. Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates suggested several freshmen – including Kylan Wilborn, Jalen Harris and Jose Ramirez – could get a shot, joining veterans Lee Anderson III, Justin Belknap and Jack Banda. Arizona also is awaiting the return of projected starter DeAndre’ Miller (foot).

* Rodriguez isn’t sure what defensive tackle Sione Taufahema can provide as of yet. Taufahema just started practicing again after undergoing a knee scope. He needs to get back into football shape. The JC transfer is listed at 6-1, 330.

* Rodriguez said the offensive and defensive lines are focal points in Arizona's 2018 recruiting class. I would add cornerback and wide receiver as areas of need.

* Rodriguez said practice was just "OK" today, noting that the offense was a little bit off mentally. “These are the times you’ve got to push through that,” Rodriguez said.

* I asked safety Isaiah Hayes which offensive players have stood out most in camp. He mentioned sophomore QB Khalil Tate, saying Tate is playing more relaxed and with more confidence.

* I asked Rodriguez if there would be more additions to the ever-evolving roster. "Not right now,” he said, smiling. “Well, give us a couple days. We’ll see"

* Rodriguez’s weekly Tuesday radio show will begin Aug. 29 and will take place at Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon and BBQ (1801 N. Stone Ave.) this season. It had been at Union Public House previously.


Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering sports professionally since the early '90s. He started at the Star in 2015 after spending 15 years at The Orange County Register. Michael is a graduate of Northwestern University.