Football End-Of-Year Awards

It may have been a rough season for the Wildcat football team, but there were some bright spots. Several players had breakthrough years and there is no doubt that the program is headed in the right direction. Here are some of the best performers this season.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Darrell Brooks. The junior defensive back was the lone player named to the All-Pac-10 team. The safety led the Wildcats with 73 tackles, 4.5 for loss. He had one pick, one sack and one forced fumble to go along with nine pass break-ups. His hard hitting also cause many a receiver to think twice about going over the middle.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Keoki Fraser. Fraser anchored a line that saw a lot of different players come in and out of the line-up.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Long snapper Ben DalMolin came back after leaving the team in an effort to improve the much-maligned special teams.

PLAY OF THE YEAR: Antoine Cason intercepts Cal's Aaron Rodgers and during the return defensive end Marcus Smith blindsides a Cal receiver with a legal block that knocks the player silly.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:Antoine Cason. The freshman corner back burst on the scene in his college debut and was a solid contributor since. He had 70 tackles, 5.5 for loss and four interceptions.

BEST GAME: Arizona beats rival ASU 34-27 to close out the season.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Peter Graniello moved into the starting line-up and was one of the team's best offensive linemen. He looks to be a solid part of the future, when many didn't even consider him as a potential starter before the season.

BIGGEST DISAPOINTMENT: Biren Ealy was injured to start the season and was then suspended for several games. He was a non-factor for most of the season.

BEST SINGLE GAME PERFORMANCE: In the final game of the season quarterback Richard Kovalcheck threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns.

MOST INSPIRATIONAL: Carlos Williams was the stabilizing force on the inside of the defensive line. While players around him dropped like flies, the senior just kept showing up. He took an unbelievable 95% of the snaps and played as hard in the fourth quarter as he did in the first.

BEST SENIOR: Williams.


BEST SOPHOMORE: Syndric Steptoe. He led the team with 30 catches for 446 yards and three receiving touchdowns. He also had 33 yards rushing and led the team in kick off returns with a 22.6 average.


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