Arizona Football

2024 Arizona football season countdown: 70 days to kickoff

To get ready for the upcoming Arizona football season, All Sports Tucson offers a countdown, which will include history notes and a look ahead to the season — a good way to keep Arizona football on the mind in the summer months leading up to fall camp in early August and then kickoff against New Mexico on Aug. 31 in the start of the Brent Brennan era.



John Fina celebrates a win over Arizona State in 1990 (Tucson Citizen photo)

With it being the 70th day until kickoff between the Lobos and Wildcats, the best player to wear¬†No. 70 for Arizona is offensive tackle John Fina, a Salpointe Catholic graduate who played at Arizona from 1988 to 1991. He was a first-round pick (27th overall) by the Buffalo Bills who spent 11 years in the NFL, 10 with the Bills. He went on to play in two Super Bowls with Buffalo. He has been inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame and the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame. In his junior year at Arizona, Fina played both offense and defense and won the team’s Bronco Nagurski award for the best two-way player on the team. John started 27 games on the offensive line and finished his career at Arizona by earning second team All-Pac-10 honors and being named the team MVP. He was also a three-time All-Pac-10 Academic selection (1989, 1990 and 1991). He started 131 of the 148 games he appeared in for the Bills. His eleventh year with the NFL was spent with the Arizona Cardinals. Fina has coached on Salpointe’s staff in recent years with his sons Bruno and Roman (both offensive linemen) playing for the Lancers. Bruno started his college career at UCLA but transferred to Duke after last season. Roman, a Class of 2025 prospect, has committed to join his brother at Duke. The elder Fina is also regional sales manager at Thales Cloud Security.


Zarius Wells

Wells, 6-foot-6 and 305 pounds, hails from powerhouse Chandler High School. redshirted as a freshman last season. While at Chandler, he played under offensive line coach Dominic Raiola, a 14-year center for the NFL Detroit Lions. Joined the Wildcat program as a preferred walk-on.


According to Matt Moreno of, here is a preliminary list of expected of Class of 2024 visitors on Arizona’s campus this weekend (already-committed QB Robert McDaniel of Hughson, Calif., is among them):


Muizz Tounkara, a 3-star Class of 2025 standout receiver from League City (Texas) Clear Springs High School, has narrowed his list to Arizona, Wisconsin and Kansas as his final three choices. He announced on X (Twitter) on Friday that he will announce his decision July 13. Here is what he told TTJH Sports:

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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.

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