Here we go. In just 49 days, the University of Arizona will take on BYU on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. We will be honoring and listing 50 of the greatest high school football players from the state of Arizona (not just Southern Arizona) who went on to play for the Wildcats from today until kickoff.
This list honors high school achievements only. Some went on to have great careers with Arizona and in the pros but many did not. Some still hold Arizona high school records like our first honoree, Ted Bland.
This list is not a countdown from No. 50 to No. 1. That would be a nearly impossible task. Again, it’s not a list of the 50 greatest players with the greatest impact at Arizona. That list is for another day.
Day 49: Bobby Wade, Phoenix Desert Vista 1999: Arizona 1999-02
Bobby Wade was the Arizona Republic’s Big Schools Player of the Year in 1998, the same year he helped Desert View win the 5A state championship. He was also the 5A triple jump champion his senior year.
Wade still holds the Big School state record or touchdowns in a season with 41 (1998). Former Sabino standout Nathan Wize still holds the state record with 51 TDs he collected in 1997.
Wade also holds the 5A record for points in a season with 246 (1998). Wize holds the 4A record at 306 (1997). After leading the Pac-12 in All-Purpose yards at Arizona, the Chicago Bears selected him in the fifth-round in 2003. He ended up playing in seven seasons in the NFL with four teams (2003-10).
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com