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Strong opening performance for new UA SAM linebacker Rourke Freeburg

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TUCSON (KVOA) – Rourke Freeburg was listed as 2nd team on UA’s season opening depth chart.

But the fact of the matter is he’s a starter and says he has been since the beginning of Fall practice.

The redshirt junior walk-on from Scottsdale Desert Mountain High School had two of the biggest plays for UA’s defense in the Wildcats 34-30 loss to No. 20 USC.

Rourke Freeburg made the first start of his UA career in the 2020 season opener against USC (Photo courtesy: Arizona Athletics)

Freeburg recorded a pair of Arizona’s eight tackles for loss including a slicing take down of Trojans running back Markese Stepp on a 4th down and 1 at the Wildcats 4-yard line that ended a USC scoring chance.

The Wildcats new starting strong side linebacker finished the game with five tackles.

Freeburg joins a short list of walk-on linebackers to start this century for UA. Sir Thomas Jackson back in 2012 is on that list. He started as a freshman on Rich Rodriguez's first team recording 31 solo tackles, five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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