46 days of Arizona Wildcat recruits: Vance Johnson


Vance Johnson (Arizona Collections)

Vance Johnson (Arizona Collections)

Here we go. In just 46 days, the University of Arizona will take on BYU on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. We will be honoring and listing 50 of the greatest high school football players from the state of Arizona (not just Southern Arizona) who went on to play for the Wildcats from today until kickoff.

This list honors high school achievements only. Some went on to have great careers with Arizona and in the pros but many did not. Some still hold Arizona high school records like our first honoree, Ted Bland.

This list is not a countdown from No. 50 to No. 1. That would be a nearly impossible task. Again, it’s not a list of the 50 greatest players with the greatest impact at Arizona. That list is for another day.

Day 46: Vance Johnson, Cholla 1981: Arizona 1981-85

Vance Johnson gained 1,382 yards in 1980 and was selected All-State after leading the Cholla Chargers to an 8-3 record. He went on to earn All-Pac-10 honors at Arizona and he captured the NCAA championship in the long jump.

Was one of six former Southern Arizona prep stars to go on and play in a Super Bowl, playing in three of them with the Denver Broncos.

(Vance Johnson Photo)

(Vance Johnson Photo)

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at


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