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Only 100 days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season at Arizona, when the Wildcats play Brigham Young on Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
As is customary on this Web site we will countdown the days with an interesting element associated with each day. This year the topic will be the top 100 individual records in Arizona’s storied football past.
Compiling the list was no easy task, but it was feasible to do with the information provided in the record books by the Arizona media relations department, and we appreciate that.
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In past years, we have counted down the top games and highlighted players and some of the top plays in Wildcat history. A couple of years ago in our top 100 countdown, we showcased the 1914 team that was responsible for Arizona becoming the “Wildcats”.
On to this year’s countdown of the top 100 individual records in the 117 years of Arizona football:
Eddie Wolgast — Career punt return average of 14.95 yards, 1945-50
Arizona fans were treated to Eddie Wolgast for five seasons due to a rule that freshmen during World War II were granted an extra year of eligibility. Wolgast did it all for Arizona coaches Miles Casteel and Robert Winslow as the only player listed among the top 10 in the record books in offensive and defensive categories including rushing, all-purpose yards, total yards, pass interceptions and punt return yards. Wolgast’s career punt return average of 14.95 was set with 44 returns. Arizona’s most successful punt returner in the modern age, Dennis Northcutt, averaged 13.7 yards per punt return in 67 attempts in his career. Wolgast’s average of 16.9 yards per punt return in 1949 was an Arizona record until Ricky Harris averaged 17.4 in 1963.
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.