There were multiple bright spots for the Arizona Wildcats in their 7-5 season, including Khalil Tate, the young freshmen on defense, the running backs, and the offensive line.
The overall theme for the 2017 Wildcats was youth. And with that youth comes a greater responsibility on upperclassmen to mentor their younger peers.
Two seniors did that while having good seasons of their own — and they are getting rewarded for it.
Arizona safety Dane Cruikshank and offensive guard Jacob Alsadek have accepted invites to the East-West Shrine Game.
The East-West Shrine Game is an all-star type of game for NFL Draft prospects, and it will give Alsadek and Cruikshank additional exposure in front of NFL front office personnel.
Alsadek has had a great career in Tucson, starting in 45 of 47 career games. The redshirt senior has been a consistent and trustworthy leader on Arizona’s offensive line.
He has gotten progressively better every season with 2017 being his best, helping pave the way for the Pac-12’s best rushing attack. Alsadek was rated as the top right guard in the conference by Pro Football Focus.
Cruikshank is another upperclassman who significantly improved this year. He started out as a cornerback as a redshirt junior and had a decent year, but made the move to spur safety before his redshirt senior season and his production skyrocketed.
Cruikshank tallied 67 tackles (6.5 for loss), three interceptions, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and half a sack this season.
The East-West Shrine Game is scheduled for Jan. 20 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Here is a full list of players who have accepted invites.