Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats Football All-Decade (2010-19) Team — Defense/Special Teams


The following is the All-Decade Defensive/Special Teams Team for Arizona football from 2010-19, a decade that included three different head coaches and a Pac-12 South title in 2014. Input from fans via polls assisted our selection of the team.

Defense

DE: Brooks Reed (2007-10)

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The former Sabino standout notched 17 sacks and 25 tackles for loss in his career. As a senior in 2010, Reed was named first-team All-Pac-12 after collecting 47 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. Before signing with the Cardinals this season, he played for the Texans, which drafted him in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft, and the Falcons.

DT: P.J. Johnson (2018)

P.J. Johnson (Arizona Athletics photo)

Johnson spent one season at Arizona in 2018 after transferring in from City College of San Francisco. He had 31 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. Johnson was a seventh-round pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2019 draft, but was waived on Aug. 31, just a few days before the start of the regular season. He was signed to the Chargers’ practice squad last month.

DE: Ricky Elmore (2007-10)

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Elmore racked up 128 tackles (33 for loss) and 25 sacks during his career at Arizona. Matched with Reed became one of the best tandems of defensive ends in Wildcat history. He was drafted in the sixth round in 2011 by the Packers. He had stops with 49ers, Chargers, Cardinals, Browns and Redskins in his three-year NFL career.

LB: Scooby Wright (2013-15)

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Wright, who called himself “Two-Star Scooby” because people overlooked him during the recruiting process, earned immediate playing time as a true freshman at Arizona in 2013. He started 12 of 13 games, recording 83 tackles and an interception and garnering honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors. Wright remained a starter as a sophomore in 2014. He was a finalist for numerous awards, including the Walter Camp Award. He claimed the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award, Jack Lambert Award, Chuck Bednarik Award and also was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first sophomore to ever win the conference award. Wright also earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors. He had the highest finish of any defensive player in the 2014 Heisman Trophy voting, finishing ninth on the ballot. As a junior in 2015, Wright played only 3 games due to injury, recording 2 sacks and 23 tackles. After his junior year, he announced his intentions to enter the 2016 NFL Draft. His NFL experience includes stops with the Browns, Cardinals and Patriots. He played with the Arizona Hotshots in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football and was drafted in October to play with the D.C. Defenders of the XFL starting this year.

LB: Jake Fischer (2009-13)

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The former Ironwood Ridge standout tallied 283 tackles in his career, including 119 in 2012. He forced three fumbles in 2012 that ranked No. 3 in the Pac-12. Fischer was a Pac-12 All-Academic first-team selection as senior. He is now an Investment Advisor Representative for Primerica based in Phoenix.

LB: Marquis Flowers (2010-13)

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Flowers originally started as a safety in 2011 and was moved to outside linebacker in 2012. He finished that season with 100 tackles, 5.5 sacks, three interceptions, six passes defended, and three forced fumbles, one of which he recovered. In the 2012 New Mexico Bowl against Nevada, a 49-48 Arizona win, Flowers recovered a key onside kick that helped Arizona take a 1-point lead with 19 seconds to go. He then intercepted Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo on the next play, sealing an Arizona victory. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection as a senior.

LB: Tra’Mayne Bondurant (2011-14)

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One of Arizona’s top defenders of the decade who complemented Wright as the “spur” defender (a hybrid safety-linebacker) as part of the 3-3-5 defense. As a senior, Bondurant had 80 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), five forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown). In his 50 career games, he accumulated 271 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, nine interceptions (four returned for touchdowns), 20 pass breakups, nine forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown). He inexplicably never got a shot in the NFL.

CB: Trevin Wade (2007-11)

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Wade finished his Arizona career with 182 tackles, 12 interceptions and two touchdowns. He was an All-Pac-12 second-team selection as a senior in 2011. He was a three-year starter and 50-game veteran. His NFL career lasted six years from 2012-17 with the Browns, Saints, Lions, Giants and Ravens.

CB: Robert Golden (2008-11)

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Golden began his first two seasons as a cornerback and split time there and at safety the rest of his career. In the 2010 season as a junior, he recorded 60 tackles, one interception, 13 passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As a senior, he recorded 69 total tackles, one interception returned for a touchdown, six passes defensed, and two forced fumbles. Golden played seven years in the NFL for the Steelers (2012-17) and the Chiefs (2018).

S: Will Parks (2012-15)

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Played in 53 games, including 31 starts, for the Arizona defense from 2012-15. Played in four bowl games, winning defensive MVP honors at the 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl. A senior captain in 2015. Finished career with 197 total tackles, 20.5 for loss, 20 pass breakups and four interceptions. Pac-12 honorable mention selection in 2015. The Philadelphia native was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft in 2016 by the Broncos, where he just played his fifth season.

S: Jared Tevis (2011-14)

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A former walk-on, Tevis, listed at 5-11 and 200 pounds, totaled 284 tackles in his career, including 14 for loss with five sacks. He also had five intercepted and six passes defensed. He forced five fumbles and recovered a fumble. He became an honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick as a senior. Tevis is now a financial advisor for Eagle Strategies LLC.

Special Teams

P: Drew Riggleman (2012-15)

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Drew Riggleman was a two-time All-Pac-12 Conference second-team selection as a junior and senior. Riggleman totaled 2,197 yards on 49 punts for an average of 44.8 yards per punt, second best in the Pac-12, in 2015. He presently is the district manager for Always Designing for People (ADP) in Tucson.

PK: Casey Skowron (2012-15)

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Skowron was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection. As a senior, he 17-of-20 field goal attempts in addition to making 53-of-55 extra points. The highlight of his career was making the game-winning 47-yard field goal to beat Washington in 2014. He also scored on a 35-yard run on a fake field goal in the 27-26 win over the Huskies. He presently is a web developer at Shamrock Foods Co.


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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.

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