Arizona Football

2024 Arizona football season countdown: 57 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.



Norman Katnik

With it being the 57th day until kickoff between the Lobos and Wildcats, the best player to wear No. 57 for Arizona is center Norman Katnik, who played with the program from 1978-79 after transferring from Saddleback (Calif.) Junior College. He was part of Tony Mason’s teams in 1978 and 1979 that started Arizona’s existence in what was then the Pac-10. In 1979, he was selected as the recipient of the team’s “Tough Boot Award,” which was awarded to the Outstanding Lineman of the Year. When he joined Arizona, he reportedly became the heaviest player in Wildcat history to play at center at 6-foot-1 and 255 pounds. Josh Baker, Arizona’s current starting center, is 6-3 and 305 pounds. After earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration at Arizona in 1982, Katnik enrolled at Western State College of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor in 1985. He was sworn into the California State and Federal, Central District courts. He joined the legal practice of his father, Andrew P. Katnik, in Santa Ana, Calif. Thereafter, the firm name was changed to Katnik & Katnik Lawyers. He remains a lawyer to this day. His son Norm Jr. played at USC and the NFL and has joined the family law firm.

Tucson Citizen clipping from 1978

NO. 57 IN 2024

No current players are listed as having uniform No. 57.


Arizona received the fourth Class of 2025 commitment from the state when wide receiver Gio Richardson of Chandler Basha pledged to the Wildcats on Thursday. Richardson, 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, had 893 receiving yards on 55 catches with 10 touchdowns last year as a primary target of Washington-bound Demond Williams (a former Arizona commit). He also is a running threat, compiling 101 yards rushing on five carries with a touchdown. Richardson also had offers from Arizona State, Kansas State, Boise State, Bowling Green, Northern Arizona, Central Michigan and San Diego State. Arizona State and Kansas State were his other two finalists. He is rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.


Gio RichardsonWRChandler5’11”180***7/4/24
Coleman PatmonDBDel Valle, TX6’3″195***6/26/24
Mays PeseDESanta Barbara, CA6’2″260***6/26/24
Losipini TupouOLSan Francisco, CA6’2″270***6/24/24
Javian GooOLKapolei, HI6’4″285**6/24/24
Kaleb JonesOLPhoenix6’2″288***6/24/24
Gianni EdwardsDBForney, TX6’0″1806/24/24
Dajon HintonATHChandler5’10”165***6/23/24
Sione TohiOTSanta Ana, CA6’3″330***6/23/24
Allen GantDBLubbock, TX6’0″186***6/23/24
Swayde GriffinDBLago Vista, TX6’2″185***6/23/24
Terry SheltonWRIrving, TX6’4″200***6/18/24
Sean RobinsonWRCibolo, TX6’4″215***6/17/24
Wesley YarbroughRBCrosby, TX5’10”190****6/17/24
Joshua TuchekDBLong Beach, CA6’1″180***6/17/24
Luke HaugoQBGilbert6’5″210***6/4/24
Robert McDanielQBHughson, CA6’2″190***5/26/24
Kellan FordTEDanville, CA6’5″235***4/7/24
Player info from Rivals


“Where Richardson differs … is with his ability to play on the inside as a slot while also being able to serve a variety of other roles for the team. He is a versatile recruit who has been used on jet sweeps at Basha in addition to working as a return man on special teams.” —’s Matt Moreno on Richardson’s versatlity compared to other Class of 2025 receivers.

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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