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With the way “Two-Star” Scooby Wright proved his doubters wrong this year because of his unrelenting style, where does he rank among the Arizona Wildcats’ badasses over the last 35 years or so?
In 2011 when I blogged at TucsonCitizen.com, I put together the top 10 list of badasses in Arizona football during the Wildcats’ Pac-10/12 existence. That information is no longer available on the Web because Gannett pulled the plug on TucsonCitizen.com as an active site last year.
I’m rekindling it here.
Wright embodies the characteristic of a badass that is synonymous with how the Desert Swarm played at the time of his birth. In fact, Wright was born on Aug. 28, 1994, the same week Sports Illustrated ranked Arizona No. 1 and labeled the Wildcats as “Rock Solid”. Five members of the Desert Swarm, including College Football Hall of Famer Tedy Bruschi, were on the cover.
Bruschi was a badass similar to Wright, both of whom were under the radar when it came to recruiting during their high school careers in northern California. Wright is Arizona’s greatest sack threat since Bruschi and he recorded 29 tackles for lost yardage this season, second in school history.
Where does Wright, war paint and all on his face, rank among his badass brethren? Here are the top 10 rankings for offense and defense:
Offense: NICK FOLES, quarterback (2009-11)
Former Oregon coach Chip Kelly now has Foles on his own Philadelphia Eagles roster to marvel about. Kelly labeled Foles a “warrior” after Foles stomached five sacks and still completed 34 of 57 passes for 398 yards in the Wildcats’ 56-31 loss to the Ducks on Sept. 24, 2011 at Arizona Stadium. “I catch myself watching him in awe sometimes,” Kelly said. “Nick is a hell of a football player. That kid’s a warrior. He’s as good as anyone in the country.”
Defense: JIMMIE HOPKINS, defensive end (1990-93)
Hopkins opted out of spring practice in 1993, leading up to the season that the Wildcats finished 10-2 and beat Miami in the Fiesta Bowl. What’s so badass about that, you say? Hopkins missed spring practice because he joined the Army. His goal was to become an Airborne Ranger. And he later did serve in the military. Hopkins, overshadowed on the defensive line by Rob Waldrop, Ty Parten, Tedy Bruschi and Jim Hoffman, remained on campus, rejoined the team for fall drills and was an important contributor to the Desert Swarm defense.
Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
The dictionary definition for “badass”: