The best Arizona receiver in Arizona history — Bobby Wade — may work with a talent who can be the greatest at that position if he returns for his junior season — Tetairoa McMillan.
Multiple sources have indicated that Wade, part of Arizona State’s staff since 2019, will return to his Wildcat roots as the wide receivers coach under new coach Brent Brennan, who coached Wade in 2000 when Brennan was a graduate assistant under Dick Tomey.
“Bobby Wade’s coming back,” a local high school football coach told me. “Just got off the phone with him. He’s in. Fired up, brother. He might be able to keep his whole (wide receiver) room intact, not lose many guys.”
Wade currently holds the Arizona record for the most single season receptions with 93 for 1,389 yards and eight touchdowns in 2002. McMillan came close to breaking that record this season with 90 catches for 1,402 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Wade is Arizona’s career leader in receiving yards with 3,351. McMillan is in range to break that record with 2,104 yards through his first two seasons.
Wade, a product of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, has been part of Arizona State’s program since 2019 working as a graduate assistant and then a senior offensive analyst concentrating on receivers since 2021.
In 33 games with the Wildcats from 1999 to 2002, Wade caught 230 passes for 3,351 yards with 22 touchdowns.
He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears. He played seven years in the NFL with the Bears, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs.
He was inducted into the Wildcat Ring of Honor in 2015.
— ProStar Coaching (@ProStarCoaching) May 15, 2023
Wade participated in the NFL’s Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship internship with the Miami Dolphins.
He worked with four Arizona State receivers who made significant improvements in his tenure working with wide receivers, led by Elijhah Badger having 70 catches, 866 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022 after having just seven catches, 61 yards and zero touchdowns in 2021.
Gio Sanders did the same in 2022 coming up with 40 catches for 500 yards with a touchdown after not getting a catch in 2021. Bryan Thompson (48 catces for 580 yards and four touchdowns) did the same in 2022 after having just 13 catches in 2021, while Ricky Pearsall went from six catches and 86 yards in 2020 to 48 catches in 2021.
Between 2019 and 2021, Wade spent two years with the Sun Devils as both an offensive analyst and a recruiting assistant, tasked with evaluating Division I college football prospects and assessing player skills and talents.
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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. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.