Prospect Preview: Arizona Wildcats

The 2002 Wildcat season was almost like the third remake of "Mutiny on the Bounty," as players took extraordinary steps to voice displeasure of John Mackovic, who proclaimed to the team he was the "best coach you'll ever have." Mackovic and the ‘Cats went on to have a terrible season. Even with that three Arizona players were drafted last April but the outlook is not good in '04.

The big question is what will happen with Clarence Farmer? As first reported by the TFY Draft Preview back in March, there is a good chance Farmer, suspended indefinitely by the team, could enter a July supplemental draft. A big, power feature runner, Farmer was highly ranked going into the 2002 season before a knee injury cut short his campaign. If he enters the draft in July, at the earliest, he's a third round choice. Should Farmer be put back onto the squad, have a good senior campaign and perform well in the post season he could move into the top 32. After that the pickins' are slim. Brandon Phillips is an athletic right tackle with solid feet and blocking range but must significantly improve his playing strength and base. Senior guard Reggie Sampay flashes skill on occasion while receiver Andrae Thurman could receive draft consideration if he has a big senior campaign. Keep an eye on junior center Keoki Fraser; an explosive blocker effective on the move.

Like the offense, their top pro-prospect on the defense is coming off of major knee surgery. Michael Jolivette displayed ball-hawking abilities and shut cover skills prior to his injury. He needs to quickly get back to par if he's to be a first day pick in 2004. Clay Hardt is another defensive back who'll get draft consideration while David Hinton is an underclassman gauge.

This could be a painful year for Arizona and its' fans, as well as the end for John Mackovic who always talks a big game yet consistently comes up shy.

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