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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 93 days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season at Arizona, when the Wildcats play Brigham Young on Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
As is customary on this Web site, we will count down the days with an interesting element associated with each day. This year the topic is the top 100 individual records in Arizona’s storied football past.
Compiling the list was no easy task, but it was feasible to do with the information provided in the record books by the Arizona media relations department, and we appreciate that.
In past years, we have counted down the top games and highlighted players and some of the top plays in Wildcat history. A couple of years ago in our top 100 countdown, we showcased the 1914 team that was responsible for Arizona becoming the “Wildcats”.
Back to this year’s countdown of the top 100 individual records in the 117 years of Arizona football:
Rob Gronkowski’s 75 career receptions is 16 more than the next tight end that has played for Arizona.
Career Tight Ends Receptions-Yards-Touchdowns: Rob Gronkowski (75-1,197-16) 2007-08
The tight end at Arizona has been mostly a forgotten position throughout the years. Can you name five tight ends who have played for the Wildcats? Mark Keel is the most accomplished tight end behind Rob Gronkowski, and he played for Larry Smith teams in the early 1980’s that were known mostly for their defense. Josh Kern had the most receptions for an Arizona tight end last year with only eight.
Rob Gronkowski’s name atop the career receiving list for tight ends should last a long time. This record would be ranked higher if Gronk played more than two seasons for Arizona before a back injury derailed his Wildcat career. As it is, his career numbers are impressive while receiving his passes from Willie Tuitama in 2007 and 2008.
Only four tight ends at Arizona have at least 50 career receptions — Gronkowski (75), Keel (59), Ron Beyer (53) and Steve Fleming (50). Gronk’s 16 touchdown receptions in his career ranks No. 9 overall in Arizona history.
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com 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 CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, 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.