Here we go. In just 24 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 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 24: Mike Dawson (1971): Arizona (1975)
Mike Dawson was a local legend long before he played 10 years in the NFL (Cardinals, Lions and Chiefs), long before he earned first-team All-WAC honors, long before he was selected WAC defensive player of year and long before he earned AP All-American honors at Arizona.
Dawson helped lead Tucson to state titles 1970 and 1971 and was awarded with Parade All-American honors. He was an all-state selection in both football and wrestling.
Proud to say my brother Javier and I are the only current reporters to have seen him play at Arizona.
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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