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June 20, 2013

Football notes: 4 'Cats land on Athlon Sports list, more

Four Arizona players, headlined by last season's rushing leader Ka'Deem Carey, earned recognition on Athlon Sports' preseason All-Pac-12 Conference team.

Carey, a consensus All-American in 2012, was named to the first team. A second-team honor was given to receiver-turned-cornerback Richard Morrison, who was recognized as a punt return specialist. On defense, linebacker Jake Fischer and cornerback Jonathan McKnight were selected to the third team.

Carey also was honored as one of The Sporting News' top 25 players in the country, checking in at No. 20. Earlier this month, the Tucson native was a second-team preseason All-American pick by Phil Steele.

Marquis Flowers also was recognized by the College Football Performance Awards, landing on the linebackers watchlist.

Wildcat Walk fan contest

Via his Wildcat Wednesday e-newsletter, UA athletic director Greg Byrne announced that fans can enter a contest to participate in the Wildcat Walk prior to a football game this season.

Now through July 31, fans with a Facebook account can win a chance to walk down Cherry Avenue with Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats prior to a "mutually agreed upon home game."

"This summer we want to find one lucky Wildcat fan to feel that excitement," Byrne wrote.

A second-place winner will hang out with Brian Jeffries, the Voice of the Wildcats, in the radio booth. Third place is a $100 voucher for the Arizona bookstore.

RichRod reacts to Bielema's proposed rule change

As a guest on ESPN's "College Football Live," Rodriguez was against Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema's idea of slowing down college football.

Among other things, Bielema suggested a 15-second grace period for substitutions after a first down. Bielema said the hurry-up style is a safety hazard for opposing defenses.

To no surprise, Rodriguez, a spread-offense pioneer, dismissed the idea.

Arizona's offense ran 1,082 plays last season, the fourth-most in the nation behind only Marshall (1,087), UCLA (1,095) and Tulsa (1,160). The Wildcats' 29.3 first downs per contest trailed only Marshall (29.4) and Louisiana Tech (31.5).

"The huddle is the biggest waste of time," said Rodriguez, who has reiterated the thought several times in the past.

Rodriguez pointed to the game of basketball, as well, adding that a different tempo is accepted without backlash.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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