Wildcats Collect Phil Steele Preseason Nods - Tucson News Now

Wildcats Collect Phil Steele Preseason Nods

Source: Arizona Athletics Source: Arizona Athletics
 TUCSON, Ariz. – Eight members of the Arizona football team collected preseason honors from Phil Steele on Monday. Junior linebacker Scooby Wright III led the group with first-team All-America and first-team All-Pac-12 accolades.

In 2014, Wright turned in one of the most prolific defensive seasons in NCAA history. Based on a vote of NCAA head coaches, media and college athletics personnel, he won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, all given annually to the nation's top defender. The Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, he ranked in the top five among FBS players for total tackles (163), tackles for loss (29.0), sacks (14.0) and forced fumbles (6) and is UA's sixth unanimous All-American.

Senior defensive lineman Reggie Gilbert (second team) and senior safety Will Parks (third team) also earned All-Pac-12 honors. The duo combine for 52 career starts and 223 career tackles.

Redshirt junior receiver Cayleb Jones (second team), sophomore running back Nick Wilson (third team) and redshirt sophomore quarterback Anu Solomon (fourth team) were named All-Pac-12. Jones led all UA receivers with 1,019 yards and nine scores in 2014 while Wilson paced the Cats on the ground with 1,375 yards and 16 touchdowns. Solomon set career game highs of 105 rushing yards (vs. Colorado), 16 rushes (vs. Colorado), 73 pass attempts (vs. California), 520 passing yards (vs. California) and 566 yards of total offense (vs. California).

Punter Drew Riggleman (second team) and return specialist DaVonte' Neal (fourth team) were also recognized on the All-Pac-12 teams. Riggleman was a 2014 SI.com Honorable Mention All-American and All-Pac-12 Second-Team. He averaged 46.1 yards per punt to rank second in the Pac-12 and fourth among FBS players. In 2014, Neal returned 12 punts for 133 yards and one TD. He scored on an 81-yard punt return at Washington State.

Coming off a 10-win season in 2014 that included the Pac-12 South Championship and a Fiesta Bowl bid, Arizona returns 44 letterwinners for 2015. Head coach Rich Rodriguez also welcomes a class of 21 seniors for 2015.

The Wildcats' season opener hosting UTSA will be played on Thurs., Sept. 3 at Arizona Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MST/PT on Pac-12 Networks.
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