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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Cat Scratch

    Spencer Larsen’s heard it before.

    If you’re Mormon and play football, it makes sense that you at least look at Brigham Young University, a school with a heavily Mormon student body.

    “”They weren’t looking at me, I wasn’t looking at them, they were a little far away from school (in Gilbert), and I never really had any interest,”” he said. “”I kinda wanted to be somewhere different.””

    So he went to Arizona in 2002, where he started at linebacker under former head coach John Mackovic.

    But after a successful freshman season that included 41 tackles (3.5 for loss) and two sacks, Larsen spent two years away from football on a Mormon mission to Chile.

    He said the reason he came back “”had a lot to do with how I was treated as a freshman.””

    “”I really enjoyed it,”” he said. “”I mean, yeah, we had a tough season, but I had an opportunity to play, and coach Mackovic, he was good to me. He said, ‘Yeah we’ll have a spot for you when you come back.'””

    But by the time Larsen came back, the regime had changed. Mike Stoops had taken the reins.

    “”Coach Stoops was real good to me when I was on the mission,”” Larsen said. “”It was a good fit. I never had any desire to go anywhere else.””

    And though that includes BYU, that’s not to say he doesn’t still hear it from their fans from time to time, especially now, as Larsen faces off against their beloved Cougars.

    “”I get phone calls, and I get – just going to church yesterday, everyone talking – it’s exciting times,”” he said. “”A lot of them are BYU grads up at the church. Stuff like, ‘Hey, I’ll be rooting for you, but I gotta root for my team.'””

    Just like those BYU alumni, Larsen’s counting the seconds until kickoff.

    “”We’re definitely ready,”” he said. “”It’s been a long wait since that ASU game.””

    Which, by the way, was on television the other day.

    “”Brutal, just brutal watching that stuff,”” Larsen said. “”I didn’t even watch the first half before I turned that trash off.””

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