Quarterback Clausen requests move to safety

UNLV junior Mike Clausen moved from quarterback to safety this afternoon after he requested the change Monday.

Football coach Bobby Hauck said it wasn't necessarily a permanent move, but Clausen showed promise and will get another look today. Clausen even intercepted a pass late in practice.

"Today, it looked like he had some hope of being a contributor there," Hauck said.

Hauck said it was doubtful Clausen would play in Saturday's 7:30 p.m. game at Idaho because he needs more time to grasp the position.

Clausen was the starting quarterback in the season opener against Wisconsin, but never left the bench Saturday at Utah. Senior Omar Clayton played the entire game, completing 18 of 37 passes for 217 yards in the 38-10 loss.

In the spring, Clausen talked to Hauck about changing positions if Clayton won the quarterback job. Then on Monday, Clausen went to Hauck and requested the change.

"Being on the sideline is not really helpful for the team if I'm a good enough athlete to play another position and help the team in another way," Clausen said.

If Clausen remains at safety, redshirt freshman Caleb Herring will move up to No. 2, with Clayton probably solidifying his hold on the starting job. Clayton, though, said he wouldn't relax.

"I could still not perform well on the field," Clayton said. "My focus is still the same. It doesn't change just because Mike is wearing a red (defensive) jersey now in practice. I still have to do the same thing every day in practice."


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