Wildcats in the NFL

Foles sets another record, including most yards by former Arizona Wildcats QB in NFL

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For 69 long years, before Nick Foles’ father was even born, nobody from the Arizona Wildcats had thrown more passing yards in the NFL than Fred Enke Jr.

Foles added to his immediate legacy in the NFL last night by surpassing Enke in that regard in Philadelphia’s 54-11 rout of visiting Chicago. Foles also established an Eagles record by completing 84 percent of his passes (21 of 25) against the Bears.

In Enke’s last start of his seven years in the NFL, he passed for 102 yards for Baltimore in the Colts’ 28-9 loss to Chicago in 1954. That gave Enke 4,169 yards in his career, in which he played for Detroit, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

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Foles, in only his second year in the NFL, has 4,327 passing yards. Foles matched Enke’s 31 career passing touchdowns with two last night. Foles has completed 347 passes in 556 attempts (62.4 percent) compared to Enke’s 297 completions in 689 attempts (43.1).

Enke, who led the NCAA in total offense in 1947 while with Arizona, still holds the longest pass thrown by a Wildcats quarterback in the NFL, a 65-yard strike. Foles’ longest pass is 63 yards.

Only two other Arizona Wildcats quarterbacks have thrown a pass in the NFL — Eddie Wilson (1962-65) and Bill Demory (1973-74). Wilson passed for 1,251 yards in the NFL. Demory had 159.


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Arizona has experienced the same kind of tremendous early success in the NFL before when Marana’s Paul Robinson finished second behind Joe Namath in the 1968 AFL MVP award as a rookie. Robinson, a track star who played one year of football at Arizona after transferring from a junior college, was selected the AFL Rookie of the Year that season.

His rookie season coincided with the Bengals’ first year of existence. He rushed for 1,023 yards and scored eight touchdowns, which made him only the second player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in his first year of professional football. Cookie Gilchrist, who ran for 1,096 yards for the Buffalo Bills in 1962, was the first.

Robinson, a track star for two years with Arizona, is the only running back in professional football history to gain more than 1,000 yards in a season for a first-year expansion team.

Ka’Deem Carey could start challenging Robinson’s highest rushing total in the NFL for an Arizona player starting next season if he foregoes his senior season with the Wildcats. If it takes Carey only two years to pass Robinson, as Foles has done against Enke, Carey will also be the talk of the NFL.

Vance Johnson, a running back with Arizona from 1981-84, has the most receiving yards in the NFL among former Wildcats. He posted 5,695 receiving yards with Denver from 1985-95.


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This site will periodically run statistic updates on former Wildcats who are active in the NFL throughout the season. The stats below are through Sunday’s games.

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* – Placed on inactive list each week since his signing Nov. 18.

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
Spencer Larsen, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Earl Mitchell, NT, Houston Texans
Brooks Reed, LB, Houston Texans
Trevin Wade, CB, New Orleans Saints

List of former UA players on practice squads:

Dan Buckner, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Fendi Onobun, TE, Chicago Bears
Matt Scott, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and TucsonCitizen.com.


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