FIve Arizona Wildcats greats chosen to Pac-12 Networks All-Century Team


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No surprise: USC had the most players (23) selected to the Pac-12 Networks’ Pac-12 All-Century team on Tuesday night.

Big surprise: Arizona had the second-most players — five — chosen overall behind the Trojans.

The Wildcats had more than UCLA (four), Stanford (four), California (three), ASU (three) and Oregon (three).

The Wildcats’ five players on the All-Century team does not include College Football Hall of Fame safety Chuck Cecil and Jim Thorpe Award winner Darryll Lewis.

The honored Arizona players are cornerbacks Antoine Cason and Chris McAlister, defensive end Tedy Bruschi, defensive tackle Rob Waldrop and linebacker Ricky Hunley (the best player in Wildcat history).

The selections were made by a panel of 119 alumni, former coaches and media members.

Of the five Arizona players selected, Bruschi (the school’s career sack leader) and Hunley were named to the All-Century starting team.

Other Wildcats who were not mentioned in the Pac-12 Networks’ selection show but are listed as other finalists are Cecil, Lewis, placekickers Max Zendejas and Steve McLaughlin, tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Nick Folk as a punter (he did both with Arizona).

What sets Arizona’s chosen players apart?

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Hunley: He was all-conference linebacker three years, made consensus All-America in 1982 and unanimous All-America in 1983. He had 31 games with 10 or more tackles and had a school-record 560 tackles in his college career.

Bruschi: In his four-year college career, he compiled 185 total tackles (137 solos), with 74 tackles for losses, six fumbles and recovered five others and tied the NCAA Division I-A sack record with 52 sacks. He was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American in 1994 and 1995.

Waldrop: He was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American in 1992 and 1993. He was also the recipient of the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in the country and the Nagurski Award as the best defensive player.

McAlister: He won unanimous All-America first-team honors and was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection for three straight seasons. He is only the seventh player in college football history (first in Arizona history) to return a kickoff, punt and interception for touchdowns in the same season. His 18 interceptions at the end of his Arizona career ranked third on the school’s career-record chart behind Cecil and Jackie Wallace.

Cason: He was awarded the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive back in the country in 2007 and was a consensus first-team All-America choice that season.

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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