Now that he is Arizona’s defensive coordinator, Chuck Cecil may use a peculiar drill for his players that he instituted for himself when he was a walk-on freshman on the scout team in 1983.
Then again, he may decide against it to prevent injuries.
Former teammate Jay Dobyns, a wide receiver who matched Cecil’s toughness on the football field, had to even do a double-take to what Cecil was doing after practice one day.
“I stayed after practice every day to catch extra footballs,” Dobyns communicated to me. “Chuck was a freshman on the scout team. He would stay after too, but … he would line up about 20 yards away from the 7-man sled, sprint and then make a horizontal dive into the pads.
“‘Dude, what the …. are you doing?’
“‘They don’t let me tackle you guys at practice and I need to keep my hitting skills sharp. I hit it with my eyes open. More fun that way.’ I knew right then we were dealing with a nut job.”
Despite being only 6-foot and 150 pounds, Cecil played his way into a scholarship before practice started the following season.
He later became known as a “Heat-Seeking Missile” at Arizona and deemed by some as too vicious for the NFL.
That 7-man sled did not stand a chance.
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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.