Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star 2016

20 Most Important Wildcats: #14 Larry Tharpe

We continue our countdown of the most important Wildcats with #14, Larry Tharpe Jr.

With less than one month to go until the start of fall camp, we're going to count down our 20 most important Arizona players for the 2017 season. These are the players we believe are the most important towards Arizona’s success, which is not to be confused with a ranking of overall talent.

14. Larry Tharpe, Redshirt junior defensive lineman

2016 Stats: 8 GP, 16 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 3 Pass deflections

Why He’s Important: Tharpe may have been Arizona’s best defensive lineman at times and you could make an argument he is the most important part of the defensive line going into next season. 

Tharpe joined Arizona as a walk-on before fall camp started, which means that he missed the entire preseason camp. 

He then built his way up from the scout team and didn’t play his first game until October. We can only imagine his impact if he had gone through camp and started the first game, but now we will get to see it first hand.

For a team that needs all the defensive help it can get, Tharpe is as important as they come. The linebackers will be young and the secondary lacking depth, so the success of the defense will start on the line.

If Tharpe can get pressure on the opposing quarterback or even generate enough to contain the run, Arizona’s defense will be dramatically better for it.

When making this list, we thought about putting Tharpe in the top ten and we may still regret not doing so because of howe vital he is to Arizona’s overall success. 

Previous Mentions

20. Donavan Tate

19. Gavin Robertson

18. Jace Whittaker

17. Nathan Eldridge

16. Shawn Poindexter

15. Michael Eletise

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