Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats in professional football: Matt Scott signed by CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos

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ALSO CATCH UP ON FORMER ARIZONA HOOPS PLAYERS PLAYING PROFESSIONALLY

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The professional odyssey of three former Arizona Wildcats has extended to the Canadian Football League, including quarterback Matt Scott, who was signed to the Edmonton Eskimos’ practice squad on Tuesday.

Scott, who was waived by the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals at the conclusion of preseason camp, joins former Arizona running backs Nic Grigsby of Winnipeg and Keola Antolin of British Columbia. Grigsby, whose brother Terris Jones-Grigsby is a senior running back with the Wildcats, is one of the leading rushers of the CFL.

Grigsby ranks fourth in rushing with 744 yards on 162 carries.

Antolin experienced his first start with British Columbia last Saturday after biding his time on the practice roster. He rushed for 23 yards on nine carries and recorded six catches for 39 yards in the Lions’ 19-17 loss to Hamilton.

Before the game, Antolin told the British Columbia News: “I got those little jitters like the old school, Pop Warner days, that butterfly feeling. That’s what I got right now.”

Antolin, 5’7″ and 196 pounds, hails from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School like fellow Honolulu native Anu Solomon. Antolin was a senior in 2011 when Ka’Deem Carey was a freshman.

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Nick Folk has made all four of his attempts from 50 yards and beyond since last season

Nick Folk has made all four of his attempts from 50 yards and beyond since last season

One of the most prosperous former Arizona players to play in the NFL is a name that might escape you — Nick Folk (not Nick Foles) — because he is a place-kicker who is not always in front of the cameras. When all eyes are on Folk, the veteran who turns 30 next month, delivers.

The eight-year kicker made 91.7 percent of his field goals last season (33 of 36), the highest percentage of his career. He has made all eight of his field goals this season, including five from 40 yards and out including one from 50 yards. Since last year, Folk is 4 of 4 on kicks of 50 and longer, and 20 of 22 on kicks of 40 and longer.

Before 2012, Folk was 10 of 20 in his career on field goals of 50-plus. Since then, he is 7 of 8.

The Jets rewarded Folk in the offseason with a four-year, $12 million contract. It includes $2.1 million guaranteed – all paid this year in the form of a roster bonus. Folk’s base salary is $1.5 million this year.

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If he is not released — and why should he? — Folk could get the $2.65 million base salary owed to him next season, a nice increase from the $715,000 base salary he earned in 2013.

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The Giants recently changed receivers on their practice squad, signing former Arizona standout Juron Criner and terminating the contract of L’Damian Washington, who lasted a week.

Criner, 6-3 and 227 pounds, was waived by the Oakland Raiders on Aug. 26 before the regular season started. In two years with the Raiders, he played in 13 games – 12 in 2012 – and caught 19 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown (against New Orleans on Nov. 18, 2012). Criner was a 2012 fifth-round draft choice, the 168th overall selection.

He played four years at Arizona, where he totaled 209 receptions for 2,859 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Some are reporting that Criner’s stay on New York’s practice squad might not be long with cornerback Chandler Fenner and wide receiver Julian Talley added back to the practice squad Tuesday.

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Carolina cornerback Antoine Cason, a Jim Thorpe Award winner in 2007 while at Arizona, is off to the best start in his seven-year NFL career. With his 34 tackles through five games, he is on pace to record approximately 109 tackles this season. His career-high was 74 in his rookie season of 2008 with the San Diego Chargers.

Cason, 28, could challenge his career-best of four interceptions in 2010 with San Diego. He has one interception through the first five games. Hardly used last year with the Arizona Cardinals, Cason managed two picks.

He already has a career-high three forced fumbles. The previous best was two with San Diego in 2012.

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MORE TWITTER REACTIONS OF FORMER ARIZONA PLAYERS:

Arizona receiver Cayleb Jones wants some of that Foles magic.

No surprise that Ka’Deem Carey is doing all the little things to someday make it big in the NFL.

That’s high praise for Rob Gronkowski from a Hall of Fame quarterback.

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.

FIELD GOAL STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team 1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+
Nick Folk (2003-06) N.Y. Jets 0-0 3-3 0-0 4-4 1-1

PASSING STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Att Comp Yds Comp% Yds/Att TD Int
Nick Foles (2009-11) Philadelphia 203 120 1380 59.1 6.8 8 5

RUSHING STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Pos. Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
Ka'Deem Carey (2011-13) Chicago RB 18 78 4.3 13 0

RECEIVING STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Pos. Rec Yards Yds/Rec Long TD
Rob Gronkowski (2007-08) New England TE 19 247 13.0 27 4

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Pos Tackles Solo Assist Sacks FRec
Antoine Cason (2004-07) Carolina CB 34 25 9 0 3
Lance Briggs (1999-02) Chicago LB 22 15 7 0 0
Brooks Reed (2007-10) Houston LB 14 9 5 1 0
Earl Mitchell (2006-09) Miami NT 11 8 3 0 0
Robert Golden (2008-11) Pittsburgh CB 2 2 0 0 0
Marquis Flowers (2010-13) Cincinnati LB 0 0 0 0 0

INTERCEPTION STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Pos INT YDS TD
Antoine Cason (2004-07) Carolina CB 1 1 0

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An overall list of UA players active in the NFL:
Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears
Eben Britton, OL, Chicago Bears
Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Chicago Bears
Antoine Cason, CB, Carolina Panthers
Marquis Flowers, LB, Cincinnati Bengals
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, Miami Dolphins
Brooks Reed, LB, Houston Texans

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List of former UA players on practice squads:
Juron Criner, WR, New York Giants
Shaquille Richardson, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Nate Ness, FS, Detroit Lions

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CAREER NFL STATS OF FORMER ARIZONA QUARTERBACKS

Player Years G GS Cmp Att Int TD Yds Lng
Nick Foles Nick Foles 2012- 25 21 484 785 12 41 5970 68
Fred Enke Jr. Fred Enke Jr. 1948-54 68 26 297 689 53 31 4169 65
Eddie Wilson Eddie Wilson 1962-65 56 2 90 186 6 5 1251 55
Bill Demory 1973-74 7 1 12 39 8 2 159 31

ARIZONA’S NFL CAREER OFFENSIVE LEADERS
Passing Yards

Player Team(s) Years Yards
Nick Foles Nick Foles Philadelphia 2012- 5970

Rushing Yards
Player Team(s) Years Yards
PaulRobinson2 Paul Robinson Cin/Hou 1968-73 2947

Receiving Yards
Player Team(s) Years Yards
VanceJohnson2 Vance Johnson Denver 1985-95 5695

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

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