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Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 70 days


We are at 70 days — or 10 Saturdays from today — until the Arizona Wildcats kick off their 2018 season under new coach Kevin Sumlin.

When Arizona hosts BYU on Sept. 1, it will mark the 40th anniversary since the Wildcats joined the Pac-12 (went from the Pac-8 to the Pac-10 then) and also the 20th anniversary of the 1998 team with the best record in school history, 12-1, and the 25th anniversary of the 1993 team that went 10-2 with a win over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

To get ready for the upcoming season, All Sports Tucson offers another countdown, which will include memories from former Wildcats, history notes and a look ahead to the season. Think of it as a way to keep Arizona football on the mind in the summer months leading up to fall camp in early August and then kickoff against the Cougars marking the start of the Sumlin Era.

To catch up on the countdown click on this: Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff.

A look back

— With it being the 70th day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 70 for Arizona? That would be offensive tackle John Fina, a Salpointe Catholic graduate who played for Dick Tomey from 1988 to 1991. He was a first-round pick by Buffalo who spent 11 years in the NFL, 10 with the Bills. He went on to play in two Super Bowls. He resides in Tucson with his family working as a sales executive for Intuitive Surgical.

John Fina and his family (Fina photo)

A look ahead

Wearing No. 70 this season for Arizona is Michigan State transfer Tshiyombu Lukusa, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound right tackle who played in eight games as a true freshman for the Spartans in 2016. He was projected to be the starting right tackle for the 2017 season but announced he quit football before spring practice because no longer “in love” with football. He had a change of heart last summer and transferred to Arizona.

Tshiyombu Lukusa

Welcome Back

Terrence Johnson as a guard at James Madison in 2016-17.

Former Cienega High School standout Terrence Johnson, who played basketball at Phoenix South Mountain Community College and James Madison the last two years, has decided to transfer to Arizona as a walk-on to the football team as a wide receiver.

Johnson, one of the best athletes to come out of Tucson in recent years, was offered a scholarship to play football out of Cienega by former coach Rich Rodriguez but opted to pursue a career in basketball.

As a senior at Cienega in the 2014 season, Johnson, 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, caught 43 passes for 557 yards with five touchdowns. He also had five interceptions and registered 91 tackles as a defensive back that season.

Terrence Johnson with former Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez (Johnson photo)

Johnson was a third-team junior college All-American at Phoenix College in 2015-16, averaging 19.3 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. He transferred to James Madison as a sophomore. He appeared in 16 games for the Dukes in 2016-17, averaging 1.4 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in a little less than 10 minutes of action per game.

He left James Madison in April last year and has resided in Tucson since, training his body back to football. Rodriguez welcomed him as a walk-on after last season. After Rodriguez was fired, Johnson remained with the team and Kevin Sumlin and saw limited action in the spring football game.

Johnson will likely have three years of eligibility remaining in football.

Terrence Johnson while at Cienega (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


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