Smith completes Arizona Wildcats All-Pac-10/12 offensive line



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The Arizona football team begins its 2013 season against Northern Arizona at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30, which is 64 days away. From now until then, this Web site will count down the days with facts about the Wildcats, their players, coaching staff and opponents. This is not a ranking, only a list of 100 facts and observances related to the 2013 Arizona football team and coach Rich Rodriguez.


Arizona’s All-Time All-Pac-10/12 offensive line is complete with the addition of guard Warner Smith, who was a first-team, second-team and honorable-mention all-conference selection in his career from 1991-94.

The standout offensive line consists of Smith and Yusuf Scott as the guards, Eben Britton and Glenn Parker as the tackles and Joe Tofflemire as the center.

Their number of pancakes would make the International House of Pancakes envious.

Smith flourished at the height of the Desert Swarm defense from 1991-94. In practice daily he went against the likes of Rob Waldrop and Ty Parten and became a better lineman as a result.

He was part of a veteran offensive line that included Paul Stamer, Pulu Poumele, Hicham El-Mashtoub and Joe Smigiel. Two more capable linemen, Mani Ott and Mu Tagoai, also started in 1994.

Many of these linemen were passed over by high-profile programs during the recruiting process. Smith came from San Manuel and former coach Dick Tomey did not let him slip through the cracks.

“Nobody wanted a lot of guys on this team,” Smith told Sports Illustrated, which selected Arizona the preseason No. 1 team in 1994. “That’s made everybody a little hungrier.”

Former Arizona offensive linemen Hicham El-Mashtoub and Warner Smith took part in the UA's reunion/Dick Tomey birthday celebration in Tucson in April (Joe Smigiel, Facebook post)

Former Arizona offensive linemen Hicham El-Mashtoub and Warner Smith (wearing the Arizona cap) took part in the UA’s reunion/Dick Tomey birthday celebration in Tucson in April (Joe Smigiel, Facebook post)

Smith was Tomey’s kind of player — tough-nosed, willing to work hard in practice and staying oblivious to all the fanfare. An offensive guard does not get much publicity anyway, although Smith earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior in 1994.

“Those are the players that a lot of time aren’t noticed,’ Tomey told the Tucson Citizen in 1994. “We know how important they are and their teammates definitely know. And sometimes it can be difficult for those players because they don’t get the same kind of attention.

“But they leave their mark on a team. They leave a legacy. And someone like Warner? He definitely leaves a legacy. One or two or three years down the road, some player on our team will say he wants to play like Warner Smith or work as hard as hard as Warner Smith or be as good of a guy as Warner Smith. That’s the legacy Warner will leave. He’s definitely the kind of player who leaves that kind of a mark on a program.”

Smith played on the defensive line as a true freshman because of injuries to others. He finished with 12 tackles and a sack. Tomey moved him to the offensive line as a sophomore. Smith was a All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection that year. He became a second-team selection in 1993 and flourished with his all-conference selection in 1994.

“I think it was only once I became an offensive lineman that I understood how much of a team sport football is,’ Smith told the Tucson Citizen. “When you’re on the offensive line, you really have to accept that and understand your role. There are no stats and precious little attention. It’s hard to know where you’ve made a difference.

“But I’ll know. Forever when I hear about ‘Twan (running back Ontiwaun Carter) and his mark (as one of Arizona’s top running backs), I will know that I helped him get that record. I helped (former quarterback) Danny White be able to get his yardage. Once you start looking at it that way, the contribution is obvious.”

Smith, one of the best to wear the No. 64 in Arizona history, is now a Garmin marketing specialist in Tucson. He earned his MBA in marketing from the UA in 2000.


Yusuf Scott (96-98)
Warner Smith (91-94)
Jeff Kiewel (80-82)
Frank Middleton (95-96)
Rick Warren (89-90)

Trung Canidate (96-99)
David Adams (84-86)
Hubie Oliver (77-80)
Ontiwaun Carter (91-94)
Vance Johnson (81-84)

Tedy Bruschi (92-95)
Brooks Reed (07-10)
Ricky Elmore (07-10)
Joe Tafoya (97-00)
Louis Holmes (06-07)

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WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.


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