2016 Arizona Wildcats football season countdown: No. 70 individual record




Only 70 days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season, when the Arizona Wildcats football team plays 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.

Nick Wilson had the best season ever for a freshman running back at Arizona in 2014

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 Arizona Wildcats football 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:

No. 70

Freshman Rushing Yards, Season: 1,375, Nick Wilson, 2014 (236 rushes)

NCAA record: 1,925, Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma, 2004 (339 rushes)

Ka’Deem Carey was a tough act to follow after he exhausted his eligibility in 2013 but Nick Wilson picked up right where Carey left off.

Nick Wilson’s 1,375 rushing yards performance as a freshman in 2014 put him ahead of the pace of Arizona rushing record king Ka’Deem Carey. That’s no easy feat with Carey holding the school record of 4,239 yards, accumulated between 2011 and 2013.

At that point, Wilson, who gained 218 yards at Utah in 2014, was on pace for 5,550 yards in his career. His injury-marred sophomore season last year, however, limited him to only 736 yards. With his career total now at 2,111 yards, he is on pace for 4,222 yards, behind Carey’s pace. Keep in mind, Carey earned the record in only three years, and his attempts were limited as a freshman in 2011.

Wilson is still solid in his own right, also owning the Arizona freshman record for 100-yard games (seven) and rushing touchdowns (16).

His 1,375 rushing yards eclipsed the previous freshman rushing record of 704 by Nic Grigsby in 2007. Carey had 425 rushing yards as a freshman in 2011.

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.

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