The Arizona football team begins its 2013 season against Northern Arizona at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30, which is 34 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.
No real big news for Arizona to come out of yesterday’s Pac-12 media day other than four signed recruits not joining the Wildcats, including speedy all-purpose threat T.J. Johnson of Cape Coral, Fla., because of academics.
Defensive tackle David Mata of Tustin, Calif., apparently abandoned ship after arriving for summer school, according to coach Rich Rodriguez.
Whether or not the players such as Johnson try to join the Wildcats in the future after attending a junior college remains to be seen. The two others who did not qualify academically are Tempe Marcos de Niza running back Mauriece Lee and San Diego receiver Lee Walker.
A certainty is Arizona will add to its Class of 2014 recruiting list — the Wildcats top the Pac-12 with 14 verbal commitments — after this weekend following its “Red Carpent” event today at Arizona Stadium.
The new Lowell-Stevens Football Facility will be open for the public and a quality group of recruits, including the latest to commit, Scout.com three-star quarterback prospect Brandon Dawkins of Oaks Christian (Calif.) High School. Other committed players, including cornerback prospect Naijiel Hale, son of late rap artist Nate Dogg, will also be there.
Nick Wilson, a Rivals.com four-star-rated running back from Fresno who has committed to Arizona, is also expected to attend.
Among the recruits expected to attend are Phoenix Mountain Pointe offensive guard Natrell Curtis (four-star rating by Rivals.com) and Salpointe Catholic wide receiver Kaelin Deboskie (not yet rated).
Here is a list of other known visitors today who have yet to commit (star rating according to Rivals.com):
Jalen Brown, WR, Phoenix, ****
Darrell Cloy, WR, La Habra (Calif.), ***
Jamardre Cobb, LB, Los Angeles, ****
Tyler Cook, LB, Murrieta (Calif.), ***
Jeff Farrar, WR, Upland (Calif.), ***
Jase Franke, DE, Venura (Calif.), Not rated (NR)
Jabril Frazier, LB, Los Angeles, NR
Layth Friekh, OL, Peoria, ***
Connor Humphreys, DE, Portland (Ore.), ****
Kwesi Mashack, DB, Norco (Calif.), NR
Andrew Mike, OL, Sabino, ***
Trenton Noller, OL, Windsor (Colo.), ***
Jamal Scott, DB, Anaheim (Calif.), NR
Marquis Ware, ATH, Los Angeles, ****
Sharif Williams, DT, Fresno (Calif.), NR
Trevor Wood, TE, Scottsdale, ***
Jeff Worthy, DT, Santa Ana (Calif.) JC, ***
ARIZONA’S CLASS OF 2014 VERBAL COMMITMENTS
Rating system from Rivals.com
The best Arizona player to wear No. 36, according to TucsonCitizen.com’s Anthony Gimino, is running back Lamont Lovett (1990-93). He was a solid player who can be heard as the radio analyst for UA games.
Last year, this site and TucsonCitizen.com ran a Top 50 Games in the history of Arizona football series. I will relive that list here with less than 50 days to kickoff and add one game to it: Arizona’s improbable 49-48 win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl last December, which landed as No. 38 on the list. Note, after clicking on the link, you will notice last year’s ranking. The list on this page is the current ranking.
No. 34: ASU ripe for picking in banana uniforms for “The Streak” to reach eight
No. 35: Arizona tries risky fake PAT to beat California but loses in epic 4 overtime game
No. 36: Veal to Hill “Hail Mary” pass highlights “The Streak” reaching seven games against ASU
No. 37: USC outlasts Arizona 48-41 in one of most wild games played in Tucson
No. 38: Arizona Wildcats’ comeback against Nevada No. 38 in Top 50 games list
No. 39: Arizona shows signs of life under Mike Stoops with rout over No. 7 UCLA
No. 40: Art Luppino “The Cactus Comet” rockets toward 38 yards per carry and five touchdowns
No. 41: Fumblerooski enables Arizona to sweep USC, UCLA in L.A. for first time
No. 42: Sun Devil nemesis Dan White quarterbacks Arizona into Fiesta Bowl with win over ASU
No. 43: Struggling UA gets improbable win against ’83 Pac-10 champ UCLA
No. 44: Closing chapter of “The Streak” includes Arizona’s dramatic fourth-quarter heroics
No. 45: Arizona overcomes rival Texas Tech with unfathomable late-game rally
No. 46: Dick Tomey, the Desert Fox, does a number on UCLA by changing offense in midseason
No. 47: “The Streak” reaches three games, UA achieves best Pac-10 finish
No. 48: Arizona’s first game at Arizona Stadium in 1929, a 35-0 win over Cal Tech
No. 49: Underdog Arizona’s 2011 thriller over arch-rival Arizona State
No. 50: Arizona’s first win over arch-rival Arizona State, then known as Territorial Normal
Dropped out: Arizona’s first win in program’s history: 22-5 over Tucson Indians
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.