Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 84 days

We now stand at 84 days — 12 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 84th day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 84 for Arizona? That would be linebacker Kevin Singleton, who played from 1986-88 and in 1990. He is the twin of Chris Singleton. Diagnosed with leukemia in 1989, Kevin received a marrow transplant from Chris, returned to the field in 1990 and later served as a graduate assistant coach.

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Kevin, Dick Tomey’s captain in 1989 and 1990, has the distinction of being a player who never lost to archrival Arizona State in his five years in the program.

He now coaches in Tempe — an assistant at Tempe McClintock High School. He works with head coach Corbin Smith, who is the son of former Arizona head coach Larry Smith.

A look ahead

The commitment of 4-star quarterback prospect Grant Gunnell from Houston this week makes it three recruits in the Class of 2019 from the talent-rich state of Texas, Sumlin’s first recruiting class at Arizona.

The number of Texas prospects recruited to Arizona by previous coach Rich Rodriguez from 2012 to 2018: Only 5, including three in his last class.

Sumlin is going after more prospects in Texas for the Class of 2019, including 3-star tight end Simon Gonzalez of Magnolia (Texas) West. Arizona offered him a scholarship Thursday. ASU has already offered a scholarship as well as SMU, Virginia Tech and Texas Tech.

Mike Stoops recruited 51 players from Texas in his eight years as Arizona’s coach (from 2003 to 2011).

In addition to Gunnell, Sumlin has received commitments from the state of Texas for the Class of 2019 from running back Michael Wiley of Houston and defensive back Logan Wilson of Dallas.

They tweeted it

The Gunnell Effect already taking place:

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