Arizona Football

Arizona’s infrequent recruiting of colonial region successful

FBCountdown

The Arizona football team begins its 2013 season against Northern Arizona at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30, which is 93 days away. From now until then, this Web site will count down the days with facts about the Wildcats, their players, coaching staff and opponents. This is not a ranking, only a list of 100 facts and observances related to the 2013 Arizona football team and coach Rich Rodriguez.

Arizona recruits mostly come from California, with some from Arizona and others from parts of the western United States.

Rarely do they come from the east, such as the original 13 states.

That makes the news of the commitment last week from Class of 2014 Washington D.C. running back Jonathan Haden more interesting.

Of the 90 players listed on Arizona’s roster in its spring prospectus, 58 are from California and Arizona. California-born players fill the roster the most with 36 players. The Wildcats have 22 players from Arizona.

The next highest state is Texas with eight, four of them from the Mike Stoops regime. Two of them are non-scholarship players. Texas is not a recruiting focus of Rich Rodriguez like it was for Stoops and his staff.

Not one recruit was from Texas in Rodriguez’s Class of 2013 effort, which consisted of 24 signees.

Jonathan Haden (5-8, 180) has played one season at Friendship Collegiate Academy in D.C. after transferring from Archbishop Carroll., where he rushed for 977 yards on 115 carries as sophomore.

Jonathan Haden (5-8, 180) has played one season at Friendship Collegiate Academy in D.C. after transferring from Archbishop Carroll., also in D.C. He rushed for 977 yards on 115 carries as sophomore.

Rodriguez signed 13 from California and five from Arizona. The other six included two from Oregon and one from New Mexico, Georgia, Florida and Nevada.

According to reports, Haden, a three-star Rivals.com recruit from Friendship Collegiate Academy, was offered a scholarship from programs such as Ohio State, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina State.

His commitment brings to mind Arizona’s high successful recruiting in that region. The list is a who’s who for Arizona football and most came in pairs as brothers:

Ricky Hunley and LaMonte Hunley from Petersburg, Va.

— Ricky was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American in 1982 and 1983, the first Arizona football player to receive consensus All-American honors. In 1998, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, the first player from the UA to be enshrined. LaMonte was a first-team All-Pac-10 player in 1984 after tallying a team-high 168 tackles.

Chris Singleton and Kevin Singleton, Parsippany Hills, N.J.

— The twin brothers were standouts at linebacker similar to the Hunleys. Chris was a two-time All-Pac-10 player in 1988 and 1989 and was selected by New England in the first round of the 1990 NFL draft. In that same year, he donated bone marrow to Kevin, who was diagnosed with leukemia. Kevin was the captain of the 1989 and 1990 UA football teams.

Rob Gronkowski and Chris Gronkowski from Churchill, Pa.

— Rob, as a freshman in 2007, recorded 28 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns. His 18.8 yards per reception average was the best on the team and his receiving yards were a school record for a tight end. After missing the first three games of the 2008 season, he recorded 47 receptions for 672 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns. He set school records for a tight end for single-game, single-season, and career receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Chris, a three-year contributor mostly at fullback, transferred to Arizona after lettering at Maryland.

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The best to wear No. 93 for Arizona? Anthony Gimino of TucsonCitizen.com picks defensive tackle Jon Abbott, who was an All-WAC selections as a senior and was a three-time Academic All-American. Abbott is an orthopedic surgeon in Tucson.

WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.

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