A new season of college football is here! In honor of our University of Arizona Wildcats, we compiled a list of our favorite Wildcat football players. Here are our top nine picks (it was difficult choosing only nine!). Bear down!
At the University of Arizona, Chuck Cecil earned Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and All America honors. During a 1986 game against the Arizona State University Sun Devils, Cecil returned an interception 100 yards, capturing a Wildcats win. Professionally, Cecil played with the Green Bay Packers, Phoenix Cardinals and Houston Oilers. He has had coaching positions with both the Tennessee Titans and the Los Angeles Rams. Recently, Cecil headed back to Tucson to become the UA football program's Director of Player Development .
During Tedy Bruschi's college career, he won the 1995 Morris trophy for Pac-10 Conference's best defensive lineman and was a consensus All American for two straight seasons. The New Englanded Patriots drafted Bruschi in the 1996 NFL draft. He played for the Patriots from 1996 to 2008.
While at the university, Ricky Hunley became the first Wildcat football player to receive consensus All-American honors. Professionally, he was a linebacker for the Denver Broncos, Phoenix Cardinals, and Los Angeles Raiders. In 1992, he began his coaching career at the collegiate level, coaching the University of Southern California, University of Missouri, and University of Florida. Next, he started his coaching career with the NFL, first with the Washington Redskins, and then with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Known as "The Cactus Comet", Luppino because the first player to lead the NCAA in rushing in successive years. At the University of Arizona, Luppino crushed many records, gaining 4,239 yards for Arizona. Due to a knee injury, he was never able to play with the NFL.
Chris mcAlister was a cornerback in the NFL. While at the University of Arizona, McAlister was recognized as All-American. He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the NFL draft, and played with the team from 1999-2008. In 2000, McAlister was part of the team that would win Superbowl XXXV.
After graduating from Arizona, Darryll Lewis was drafted by the Houston Oilers. In 1999, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers. After playing in the NFL for 10 years, he began his collegiate coaching career, coaching the Oregon State defensive backs, before resigning two months later, due to personal reasons.
After playing college in Tucson, Byron Evans was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a key member of the "Gang Green", the defensive team known for their outstanding performance in NFL history. When his career ended, Evans came back to Arizona, moving to Phoenix, where he now resides.
Ka'Deem Carey is no stranger to Arizona! Growing up in the old pueblo, Carey attended Canyon del Oro High School, and later played for the Arizona Wildcats from 2011-2013. In 2012, Carey set the Pac-12 record for rushing yards in a game. Carey was drafted by the Chicago Bears, where he currently plays.
Rob Gronkowski, nicknamed "Gronk" is currently a tight end for the New England Patriots. While at the University of Arizona, he was named freshman All-American. The Patriots drafted Gronkowski in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft.
Antoine Cason is a former football cornerback. While Cason was a Wildcat, he was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Cason was drafted in the first round by the San Diego Chargers. In addition to the Chargers, Cason also played for the Arizona Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers, and the Baltimore Ravens.
Do you have a favorite Wildcat football player, we haven't mentioned? Or do you have a 'Totally Tucson' idea you want to share? Email Stephanie Dunlap at firstname.lastname@example.org