Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 95 days

We have reached 95 days 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.

A look back

— With it being the 95th day ’til kickoff, the best player to wear No. 95 for Arizona? That would be defensive tackle Cleveland Crosby (1978-79). He was a Purdue transfer who had 13 sacks in two years with the Wildcats. He was a second round draft pick in 1980 but his NFL career never flourished because of injuries.

Arizona Daily Star clipping in 1979 of Cleveland Crosby.

A look ahead

Colin Schooler is coming off a freshman All-American type season (Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics)

Sophomore linebacker Colin Schooler is one of 42 candidates for the 15th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors defensive players who have had the biggest IMPACT on their teams on and off the field. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. The 2017 Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, Schooler finished the season with 95 tackles, including four sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss – all of which came in Pac-12 Conference play. He intercepted a pass, returned one 66 yards for a touchdown, forced a fumble and broke up a pass, while finishing the season as a starter over the last nine contests. Last December, Schooler was named to freshman All-America teams by numerous outlets, including ESPN.com, USA Today and College Football News. He also earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in Arizona’s upset of No. 15 Washington State last October.

They said it

Sumlin on building a sound relationship with his players:

“The team has to know your ‘why’ and then they have to trust you.”

Embed from Getty Images

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