Arizona Football

Former Arizona Wildcats QB Foles possibly to get first start of season Sunday


ArizonaNFL is reporting that contrary to reports early today that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has not been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Vick suffered a strained hamstring in the second quarter of Philadelphia’s 36-21 victory yesterday at East Rutherford, N.J.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday morning that Vick has been ruled out Sunday and former UA quarterback Nick Foles, who engineered the Eagles’ victory yesterday, would start in his place against the Buccaneers.

Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly denied that report this afternoon and claimed that Vick remains his starter despite the injury.

Kelly told reporters that Foles would become the starter “if he went 100 for 100” in his next performance.

He toned that down later, telling the media as reported by “If somebody comes in and puts on an unbelievable performance, you have to take it all into account. If Nick plays this week and does an outstanding job, then that’ll be great for everybody involved.”

Foles threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns that were set up by two Eli Manning interceptions to rally the Eagles, who are struggling at 2-3. Foles completed 16 of 25 passes for 197 yards.

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Former UA cornerback Antoine Cason made the most of his limited playing time by recovering a fumble by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton yesterday and returned it 40 yards to the Cardinals’ 9, setting up a TD in Arizona’s 22-6 victory.

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The woeful Jaguars, winless and playing Denver Sunday as a 28-point underdog, are so thin at the wide receiver position that former UA quarterback Matt Scott has played at that position as part of the practice squad.

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Could Fendi Onobun become another Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates?

Could Fendi Onobun become another Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates?

Chicago practice squad tight end Fendi Onobun, a former basketball player for the Wildcats who played football for one season at Houston under Kevin Sumlin, was compared by a Chicago CBS Web site last week to New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham (also a former college hoops player).

Onobun and Graham, who played for Miami (Fla.), were in the 2010 draft. Both played only one year of college football after their hoops careers.

The CBS Web site’s comparison:

“Interesting that Saints quarterback Drew Brees has helped the transition of two former college basketball players into Pro Bowl NFL players — Graham and Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who was a star basketball player at Kent State. Graham ran a 4.53 forty at 6’6” and 260 pounds with a 38.5” vertical jump and 10’00” broad jump at the 2010 Scouting Combine. Onobun ran a 4.48 forty at 6’6” 260 pounds with a 37.5” vertical jump and 11’1” broad jump and with change of direction numbers than Graham. Catching the football is the key to bringing all of this elite athleticism together, but you can see why Onobun remains an intriguing prospect.”

This site will periodically run statistic updates on former Wildcats who are active in the NFL throughout the season. The stats below are through yesterday’s games. Nick Folk of the Jets plays tonight:

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* — Gronkowski and Criner were listed as inactive in the first five weeks

An overall list of UA players active in the NFL:

Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears
Eben Britton, G, Chicago Bears
Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Juron Criner, WR, Oakland Raiders
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Folk, PK, New York Jets
Robert Golden, S, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Earl Mitchell, NT, Houston Texans
Brooks Reed, LB, Houston Texans

List of former UA players on practice squads:

Dan Buckner, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fendi Onobun, TE, Chicago Bears
D’Aundre Reed, DE, San Francisco 49ers
Matt Scott, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site


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