Cats have high hopes for NFL Draft - Tucson News Now

Cats have high hopes for NFL Draft

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TUCSON, Ariz. – For the 12 football seniors that participated in Arizona's NFL Pro Day in early March, Thursday's start of the NFL Draft marks a key moment in their careers. If a name isn't called during Thursday's first round, airing live on ESPN at 5 p.m. PT, the selections will continue on Friday and Saturday, April 26-27.

Since the 2008 season, Arizona has had 14 players selected in the NFL Draft. This season's hopefuls include quarterback Matt Scott, center Kyle Quinn, running back/H-back/defensive end Taimi Tutogi and receiver Dan Buckner, just to name a few.

Dominique Austin, Defensive Line, La Puente, Calif. (Bishop Amat HS)

2012: Started the first five games of the season at defensive end before missing the final seven regular-season contests because of a foot injury … Returned for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and was a reserve off the bench ... Was the only senior to start on Arizona's 3-3-5 defense … Recorded 14 tackles in his six games, seven solo and seven assisted … Also broke up two passes.

John Bonano, Kicker, Salinas, Calif. (Palma HS)

2012: Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete … Pac-12 First-Team All-Academic … CoSIDA Academic All-American and All-District … Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the upset win over No. 18 Oklahoma State … Served as Arizona's placekicker in 13 games … Connected on 58-of-59 extra point attempts … Set the Arizona record for 72-straight PATs made in his career … Made 14-of-20 field goal attempts, with a long of 46 yards against Oklahoma State … Scored 102 points on the season, second among the Wildcats … Converted a two-point conversion in the ASU game.

Dan Buckner, Receiver, Allen, Texas (Allen HS/University of Texas)

2012: All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention … A member of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List … Arizona's 13-game starter at the wide receiver position … Ranked second on the team in receiving yards with 773 … Hauled in 61 receptions for five touchdowns and an average of 12.7 yards per catch … Averaged 59.5 yards per game.

Kyle Dugandzic, Punter, Agoura, Calif. (Agoura HS/Ventura College)

2012: Pac-12 Special Team Player of the Week for his performance in the Oregon State game … Named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List … The Wildcats' punter for all 13 games … Averaged 43.2 yards per punt with 10 of 50 yards or more and 24 landing inside the 20-yard line … Season totals include 52 kicks for 2,244 yards … Recorded a career-long 70-yard punt against Oregon State.

Kyle Quinn, Center, Brentwood, Calif. (Liberty HS)

2012: All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention … Senior CLASS Award Semifinalist … A member of the offensive line that earned Offensive Player of the Week honors from the Arizona coaching staff for its performance in the Washington game … Played with an offensive line that allowed UA to lead the Pac-12 in total offense for four-straight weeks (weeks 6-9) and rank as high as fourth nationally in weeks 3, 7, and 9 … Arizona's offensive triple-threat attack featured a 3,000-yard passer (Matt Scott - 3,238 yards), a 1,500-yard rusher (Ka'Deem Carey - 1,757 yards) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Austin Hill - 1,189 yards).

Drew Robinson, Tight End, Coalville, Utah (North Summit HS/Snow College)

2012: Played in 11 of 13 games at the tight end position … Also a special teams blocking contributor.

Matt Scott, Quarterback, Corona, Calif. (Centennial HS)

2012: Second-team All-Pac-12 … A two-time Manning Award Star of the Week and the Walter Camp Player of the Week on Oct. 28 … Completed 301-of-499 passes attempted for 3,620 yards with 27 touchdowns … Led the Pac-12 in total offense with 343.8 yards per game and ranked No. 2 in the conference in total passing yards … In the OT loss at Stanford, Scott set Arizona and Pac-12 single-game records with his 45 completions and 69 attempts … Threw just one interception en route to 491 yards and three touchdowns against the Cardinal … One of the nation's top running QBs, Scott had 506 rushing yards on 113 carries and six TDs on the ground … Averaged 4.5 yards per carry and 42.2 yards per game.

Elliot Taylor, Running Back, San Diego, Calif. (Mt. Miguel HS/Southwestern C.C.)

2012: Played in the South Carolina State game at running back ... Recorded one carry for 42 yards.

Taimi Tutogi, Running Back/Fullback, Chula Vista, Calif. (Chula Vista HS)

2012: An eight-game starter at the fullback position … Played in 11 of 13 games … Also played on the defensive line on third-down situations and a contributor on special teams … Had one receiving touchdown in the South Carolina State game … On the season, has 10 catches for 64 yards.

Christian Upshaw, Defensive Line, Phoenix, Ariz. (La Jolla HS/Western New Mexico)

2012: A member of the scout team defense.

Mark Watley, Free Safety, Granada Hills, Calif. (Crespi Carmelite HS)

2012: Played in 11 of 13 games with the secondary and on special teams ... Totaled four tackles and broke up one pass ... Season-high two tackles vs. USC.

Shane Zink, Offensive Line, Redding, Calif. (Enterprise HS/Shasta College)

2012: Played in 13 games with eight starts, four at left guard and four at right guard ... A member of the offensive line that earned Offensive Player of the Week honors from the Arizona coaching staff for its performance in the Washington game … Played with an offensive line that allowed UA to lead the Pac-12 in total offense for four-straight weeks (weeks 6-9) and rank as high as fourth nationally in weeks 3, 7, and 9 … Arizona's offensive triple-threat attack featured a 3,000-yard passer (Matt Scott - 3,238 yards), a 1,500-yard rusher (Ka'Deem Carey - 1,757 yards) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Austin Hill - 1,189 yards).

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