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Arizona football countdown: 38 days, Jared Tevis stays home to lift program to new heights

A Tucson kid brings Arizona to the next level

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The end of Jared Tevis' career was not exactly how anyone drew it up. Watching him leave in the first half of the Fiesta Bowl with an elbow injury was an unfortunate sight to say the least.

But thanks to this hometown kid, Arizona found itself in the Fiesta Bowl in the first place.

After playing high school ball at Canyon Del Oro in Oro Valley, Tevis walked on to the Arizona Wildcats team in 2010. He redshirted his first year out of high school, and played almost exclusively on special teams in 2011.

The 2012 Spring practices is when it really started clicking for Tevis, as he earned a scholarship at the end of the spring session.

He came out like a madman to start the 2012 season, picking up 12 tackles against Toledo, which would be his single-game high for the next year and a half. And in the next game, the signal that things had changed under Rich Rodriguez, Tevis had two interceptions against Oklahoma State in the Wildcats' 59-38 win over the then-No. 18 Cowboys.

Those were the only two interceptions of that season for Tevis, and he only had three more the rest of his collegiate career. But his importance to the rise of the program can not be overlooked, despite being overshadowed by guys like Tra'Mayne Bondurant and Jonathan McKnight in Arizona's secondary.

Last season, Tevis finished the year second on the team in total tackles with 120, trailing only Scooby Wright III. That seems crazy to me.

Three of the most important players in the transition from Stoops to RichRod: Tevis, Ka'Deem Carey, and Jake Fischer, all went to high school in Oro Valley. Without them in the locker room, who knows what happens in Arizona Stadium the last few years.

Not bad for a walk-on from Oro Valley. Thank you Jared for the memories.